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Nature Museum Creates 3-D Imaging Center

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OTTAWA, Ontario, Nov. 21 -- The Canadian Museum of Nature has signed an agreement with Arius3D Inc. to establish a center for 3-D imaging at the CMN's research and collections facility in Gatineau, Quebec.

The museum will install the company's scanning cameras and software to produce true-to-life, full-color, 3-D models of specimens from its natural history collections. The images will be used for education, research and collections management and will enhance the exchange of scientific information based on the study of real objects.

Arius3D's system not only provides the 3-D geometry of an object, but also a measure of the object's actual color, regardless of ambient light.

"It's the next best thing to seeing them first-hand," said Joanne DiCosimo, president and CEO of the musem. "This project is an exciting and innovative way to research and share Canada's remarkable natural heritage."
   Collections staff will create a 3-D model archive of specimens, an important tool in monitoring their preservation over time. Researchers from other institutions will be able to receive 3-D images, with accurate measurements of both geometry and color, for specimens that are too fragile to be shipped and loaned. Also, researchers who are unable to visit the collections will be able to view and study models of the specimens without having to rely solely on photos or drawings. Future uses of the technology include animation and the creation of replicas.

The center, which is expected to open in January, will be staffed by three technicians and will offer its services to other museums, federal agencies and research institutions in the National Capital Region. Support for the center is provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canadian Culture Online Program).

For more information, visit: To see an online demo of the 3-D technology, visit:
Nov 2002
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