The images will provide more accurate and broader understanding of shipwrecks than a traditional photograph.
Marine archeologists are developing 3-D images of ships resting in the surface of Lake Huron. So, they can give more insight into the hidden treasure than a conventional photograph can provide.
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The researchers are diving into the deep waters with the sophisticated imaging technology, rapidly capturing accurate 3-D images of shipwrecks and feeding into a software program.
Lake Huron is one of the largest freshwater lakes located in North America. Many ships sailed and lost in the lake over the centuries and there is no exact count of how many shipwrecks happened in it. Researchers had photographed and shoot videos of the wrecks before but they were not been able to create detailed and accurate 3-D images in limited budget and in short space of time.
Joe Hoyt, the in charge of imaging project and his team are spending day aboard on an environmental research vessel called, Storm and using a technique “Photogrammetry” for creating 3-D images.
“This is the first project we’ve really rolled it out on,” Joe Hoyt said. “The cool thing about this it it’s photo-realistic but it’s also a perfect 3-D, so you’re seeing all sides of it. And it’s perfectly scaled. It’s a really amazing, accurate tool for measuring and monitoring and the biggest benefit is the time it takes to develop is very, very small.”
One of the ships, researches are working on is The Defiance, a 110-foot schooner which sunk in 1854 after colliding and is sitting almost 200 feet below the surface off the coast near Michigan state. Its deck hardware and cabins are intact and masts are still standing. Researchers are considering it an ideal subject for 3-D imaging which will become a standard for analyzing and monitoring shipwrecks everywhere. Dozens of images pixel by pixel will help create 3-D images that will contribute in assessing wrecks in a precision.
The images will benefit not only archeologists but also help general public understand wrecks in more depth which is otherwise not possible.
“I could certainly see a large touch screen, flat screen in our exhibit, with a half dozen shipwrecks to choose from,” Russ Green, a member of the project said.
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“This technology allows average citizens to get a better understanding of maritime heritage…This is America’s history. It’s still there, it’s preserved and it’s amazing.”