Spar 2010 Wrap-up

Annual Conference on 3D technologies boasts large heritage preservation presence

by Elizabeth Lee
February 20, 2010
Last week we attended the annual Spar conference on 3D imaging and capture technologies. I have had the opportunity to attend this event for the past 3 years, and it is always a great experience. Spar offers an opportunity to learn about the emerging technologies in 3D capture, connect with old partners, gain insight about best practices and methodologies, and spark new relationships. While the conference is only about 2 ½ days, so much happens in that time period it is difficult to succinctly summarize the events. Instead of giving a full overview of the conference I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite things:

Monday Morning Keynotes:
The keynote speeches are one of my favorite parts of the conference. You are able to get an overview of many different fields and really understand the broad applications of 3D capture. My personal favorites were Rajeev Kalamdani of Ford discussing the positives of utilizing 3D capture and modeling in the production line; USC ‘s Paul Debevic’s presentation of advanced facial capture and modeling; and the presentation by Bonnie Burham of the World Monuments Fund about the early history of the preservation movement and where it has come today through utilizing 3D capture technologies.

Holographic Point Clouds:
Although I have been hearing a lot about Zebra Imaging, this conference was the first opportunity to see the holograms in person. What a unique way to view 3D information. Zebra even helped us produce a hologram of the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan to give away at the CyArk sponsored lunch Tuesday.

Daily Dose of Heritage:
Through the continued support of the conference organizers, the heritage preservation presence has continued to grow. This year everyday of the conference held something for those interested in digital heritage preservation. From keynotes on Monday, to panel discussions Tuesday, to the full session on heritage Wednesday, there was a great variety of material presented and discussed. We look forward to seeing the interest in digital heritage preservation continue to grow.

New Discoveries:

There was a tremendous amount of brain power present throughout the conference, and Spar provides the opportunity to pull people together and learn new things. One of my favorite moments at the conference took place outside the formal presentations. It was shortly following the heritage roundtable discussion when Professor Kat Vlahos of University of Colorado opened point cloud image on her computer. The point cloud was showing areas of Fort Laramie not easily seen by the naked eye. This sparked a great discussion between Kat, Tom Keohan of the NPS regional office, Mt. Rushmore Superintendent Gerard Baker and Ben Kacyra of CyArk about what the data could possibly be showing. It was great to see the different opinions and different perspectives discussed. Pooling the different areas of expertise the deformations in the ground were determined to be earlier extensions of the buildings on the fort, but the discussion also sparked an idea to scan additional areas surrounding the fort for markers of where the Native Americans lived during the time of the fort.

There were many more great things about the conference, but I won’t list them all here.

A special thanks to the Spar team for putting on a great event, and a huge thanks to all those who participated in and attended the various heritage sessions. I look forward to all the continued discussion.
Zebra Imaging showing off the CyArk point cloud hologram
Strong attendence at the heritage preservation session Wednesday morning
Gerard Baker, Kat Vlahos, Tom Keohan and Ben Kacyra investigate the cloud of points from Fort Laramie National Historic Site