Thursday, 27 December 2012

Manchester Museum

A couple of weeks ago the mobile team went to the beautiful Manchester Museum, I underline beautiful as there were many interesting things to see and we didn't have enough time to view it all;  as usual we were in a hurry to photograph as many types as possible!

Unfortunately there wasn't enough time  to record all the fossil types in the Museum (more than 200), so we had to prioritise the fossils to be recorded, a thing which is always better to avoid and we don't like doing!
We've taken lots of good picture of the Plesiosaur on display, the specimen is too big for our laser scanner and the exhibition display didn't make the access easy, as it is on the floor underneath a 70 cm tall glass! But we hope the photos will help us creating a decent 3 D photogrammetric model.

In the end we managed to scan most of the Buckman Ammonite Collection and photograph a good variety of plants, trilobites, bivalves, cephalopods, insects and fishes, only some bivalves and gastropods were left apart... Time is running out and we must be on the road again, and who knows, we can always come back!

Just one folklore note about this trip: as we looked for  accommodation near the Manchester Museum, we ended up next to the curry mile! Although it's true that life is not all about fossils, an entire week of curry dinners have heavily tested the team! Is there any real English food restaurant left in Britain?   

Michela Contessi
(GB3D Mobile Team)

A visit to Liverpool, and a large fossil!

World Museum, Liverpool

A little while ago  the JISC GB3D fossils team were at the World Museum, Liverpool. As well as the more "normal" sized fossils, a couple of fossils presented a little problem.....

Chirotherium storetonense

This is a specimen of Chirotherium storetonense (the "hand-beast" of Storeton) - it is currently on display in the geology gallery in the museum. The slab weighs over a tonne, so moving it for photography in the available time was out of the question. Additionally, the gallery is open to the public every day, so we would not be able to set up lights and tripods without disturbing access.

We hope to be able to solve this problem through the use of photogrammetry software, where we will use several photographs taken from different angles to create a model of the specimen - we will update this post when we have some results.

Simon Harris
(GB3D Mobile Team)

Cambridge University Museum of Zoology

The mobile digitalization team was in Cambridge on the 14th of November, visiting the Cambridge Zoological Museum. Only 11 types are held there, but some are very nice specimens: two of the most complete Lower Carboniferous reptiles and a Cretaceous turtle, with the skull completely and nicely preserved! Nothing the size of a dinosaur, but let’s say that we encountered some of its smaller ancestors!

Michela scanning a type in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge

Time is always running fast when you have only a day in Cambridge, but we managed to have a quick look through the Sedgwick Museum which is always fascinating to see (it was our lunchtime Mike, don’t worry, we worked as much as we could!), and we met the Cambridge digitisation team. Like us, Hilary (scanning) and Lindsey (photographing) are digitising the type collections of the Sedgwick Museum, the they showed us hundreds of boxes with types: it can seem an easy and quick job, but it is never as you would expected it! We also exchanged some useful information about common problems we had and tricks to solve them, I won’t reveal you the latter, you know we still have to keep a little mystery around the final product you will see on the website! 
Simon at work with the Canon EOS5D

Michela Contessi
(GB3D - Mobile digitization team)