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With the help of 3D scanning technology, Stanford University Libraries have turned almost 100 animal bones and bone fragments into digital 3D models. The 3D models can be used by zoologists and natural historians for teaching and research.
If you’ve ever been to a natural history museum—or any museum, for that matter—you’ll know about the most strictly enforced rule in the museum environment: don’t touch.
Curators - Bones - Fossils - Animals - Commodities
You can hardly blame the curators. Bones and fossils of rare or extinct animals are precious commodities, and can be easily damaged by overzealous hands. It’s therefore best to keep them behind glass, safe from intentional or accidental touching.
The problem with that approach is that you can’t get up close and personal with an animal bone—can’t turn it over in the palm of your hand and examine its crevices and contours.
Compromise - Something - Future - Technology - Something
A neat compromise, and something you’ll be seeing much more of in the near future, can be reached using 3D scanning technology. By 3D scanning something like an animal bone, you can create a digital 3D model, which allows curious observers to get a closer look at the artifact on a computer screen.
That’s what Stanford University Libraries have been doing as part of a recent pilot project. So far, the organization has 3D scanned around 100 animal bones and bone fragments, though their reasons for doing so aren’t just to stop those bones being broken.
Fact - Stanford - Group - Number - University
In actual fact, the Stanford group wants to digitize a large number the university’s store of artifacts, which also includes artworks and other interesting historical objects, in order to improve teaching in the classroom.
Their thinking is that, if these 3D models are available to access immediately online, Stanford lecturers and tutors can show them to a large group of...
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