History and the Zebedee

Who remembers high school history?   Reading about those events that happened at some geographical location a long time ago.  Trying to picture where a great battle happened, or the true size of an old fort or other monument built hundreds of years ago.  I was a visual learner, and  words in books just couldn’t paint the picture that I needed to learn about these great events in our history.  What if there was a way to bring those places to life, in the here and now?  Something that let the student’s experience first hand the size and scope of historical places throughout the world.  This is what I could see being done with Zebedee 3D mapping tool.

The Zebedee 3D mapping tool is advancement in compact, portable 3D mapping.  Up until this point most 3D mapping used large, stationary, tripod mounted devices that were left alone to scan structures one piece at a time.  It was very time intensive and post processing was computationally heavy.  With the Zebedee, one person can walk in and around any structure with little more than a back pack a hand-held device. The company lists applications that they feel are well suited for this device including, but not exclusive to manufacturing, forestry, mining, first responders, security and cultural heritage.  I believe that education could be added to that list as well.

For example, Csiro, the company that developed the Zebedee, mapped the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  The final 3D map includes an interior and exterior and is completely interactive, meaning you can do a virtual walkabout of the tower without ever leaving the classroom.

Scan of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Another thought of mine was to use the technology to educate travellers of possible physical restrictions they may face when abroad.  Please let me explain.  A few years ago I took a month-long vacation in Ireland.  I backpacked around the country looking at different sites of interest with the intent of eventually visiting Newgrange in County Meath.  Newgrange is a prehistoric passage tomb that was excavated and opened to tourists.  Reading the literature that was available made me feel that entering the tomb to explore was going to be good experience, however that idea quickly disappeared.  After I entered the tunnel narrowed quickly and I found myself in a panic.  It was at that moment that I realized that I might be a little claustrophobic.  I feel that if I had been able to get access to, and view a virtual, to scale digital model of the tunnels I may have been able to avoid this dark part of my history.

I think that the Zebedee 3D mapping tool could be a great advancement in educational tools. Hopefully Csiro and other educational companies can get together to build a virtual library of historical places and share them with the world.

Last week I mentioned that I was going to give an opinion on a thermometer patch developed by a group of international scientists.  At first blush my gut reaction was that this tech would eventually be corrupted for nefarious purposes, however my position has softened.  Not enough to say that it will be a good technology but enough to let it go, for now.

Till next week,
A Clockwork Techie

p.s. I know nothing beats seeing historical locations in real life.  However with class sizes in the public school system the way they are,  costs to take all the students around the world would be insurmountable.


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