Sunday, December 17, 2017

3D technology for Moruga Museum

LEARNING EXPERIENCE: Dr Allan Miller awards a certificate of participation to a pupil of Moruga Secondary School. —Photos courtesy Heather-Dawn Herrera


A 3D Digitisation and Spherical Technology project produced by the University of St Andrews, UK, in conjunction with EULAC Virtual Workshops and presented through the cooperation of The University of the West Indies Museum, St Augustine campus and the National Museum and Art Gallery, was hosted at the Moruga Museum as part of a bigger project happening in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Facilitators Dr Karen Brown, Dr Allan Miller and Abeola Fabola, of the University of St Andrews, gave participants a hands-on experience in topics such as photogrammetry, laser scanning and structural lighting for creating digital representations of physical objects and spherical photography.
Four schools from the Moruga area attended the workshop.
Pupils of Moruga Secondary, Cowen Hamilton Secondary, Princes Town East and Princes Town West expressed their enthusiasm for producing digital outputs representative of their heritage.
As the workshop progressed, Eric Lewis, curator of the Moruga Museum, gave the pupils a historical and educational tour of the Moruga Museum and they particularly enjoyed learning about the Merikins and the fact that some of them are descendants of the Merikins.
They had a renewed respect for the Merikin elders of the community who were present at the workshop.
They later spoke of using the knowledge gained in the 3D technology to promote their ancestry.
During the workshop, artefacts from the Moruga Museum were selected and set up and the pupils were shown how to take the photographs using their smartphones and tablets.
They also participated in the scanning process. At the end of the day, each pupil was given a certificate of participation in recognition of successful completion of the EULAC Museums 3D Scanning Workshop.
Curator Lewis said that it was always a part of his objective that international museums would use the Moruga Museum as a database to show to the world.
“My hope is that more schools, universities and museums would come on board and use this as a research database. The Moruga Museum is not funded by a Government agency and is in need of that. We need to expand all aspects of the museum, including the physical, not only to accommodate archaeological items but to facilitate local and international programmes such as this workshop here today.
“I intend to use the technology introduced here today to disseminate information. I believe that 3D will help document items that possess intrinsic details, a plus for recording purposes. This will make study of the items by researchers a lot easier. I also believe that the 3D technology is ideal for items that may not have permanent shelf life.
“The digital artefacts will add a new dimension to the current displays at the museum.”
EULAC Museums writes that digitisation of an object makes it easier to edit, copy and share.
“Through archiving, we will make digital artefacts accessible and available for re-use by researchers, the wider museums and galleries communities and researchers as well as the public at large.”
Facilitators at the workshop expressed their admiration for the natural ambience, cuisine and friendliness of the people of Moruga and the diverse cultural history as displayed in the museum and hoped that this would be taken full advantage of using the 3D technology introduced at the workshop.