Using modern 3D imaging techniques, we can make a much larger part of our collection accessible to the public.
Can you imagine a purple polar bear on the couch of your living room or a cute little Tyrannosaurus rex walking over your desk? Thanks to advances in computer science, what a museum like ours can offer its clients will only be limited by our fantasy!
Naturalis holds over 27 million items in its collection, yet only a few thousand of these can be displayed in the museum. Even the objects that are on display can hardly ever be handled, manipulated or viewed from different angles.
Using modern 3D imaging techniques, we can make a much larger part of our collection accessible to the public. Objects that are too large, too fragile, too rare, too small or too toxic can be presented in three dimensions in cyberspace.
Naturalis is exploring the possibilities of 3D imaging so that we can utilize the full potential of our enormous collection. Using photogrammetry we can make a 3D representation of an object in the computer. Everybody can then view the object in their internet browser and even experience it in full 3D using an Oculus® Rift or anaglyph image, for example.
Visitors can manipulate these objects in many ways. For example, view it from every possible angle, even from within! Citizen scientists could make measurements of it or perform calculations on it. Game developers could import it as a game asset, teachers could use it on their digital whiteboards, artists could change the colors, and children could animate it. People could even print them in 3D.
Yes, we are really playing around! That’s called Research and Development.