Director, Digitization Program Office
3D Program Officer
With 138 million objects and specimens housed in 41 facilities, the scale and diversity of Smithsonian collections presents a unique digitization challenge. The Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office currently runs extended pilot projects which aim to establish high-quality, high-throughput digitization methodologies for different collection types, as well as apply 3D technologies to the most iconic collection objects. In October, the Smithsonian launched the first conveyor-belt rapid digitization project in the US, with throughput rates of up to 6,000 items per day. A two-year project to digitize the entire Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum collection of 210,000 objects began in November. Digitization workflows integrate the Smithsonian Transcription Center, where digital volunteers transcribe data from the digital images to make the digital collections searchable. Smithsonian X 3D brings iconic Smithsonian collection objects and remote research sites to a web-browser near you by applying cutting-edge 3D technology to one-of-a-kind objects and environments. The pilot project investigates the applicability of 3D technology to a cultural heritage setting by focusing on use cases from many of the Smithsonian museums and science centers, such as the 1903 Wright Flyer, Lincoln’s Life Masks, a 1500 year old Buddha sculpture, a prehistoric fossilized whale, and a Super Nova. As presented in the Smithsonian’s 3D explorer (3D.SI.EDU), the 3D models turns online visitors into active investigators. Full datasets for most of the models can be downloaded, which empowers anyone with a 3D printer to create replicas.
3D printed Portrait of President Obama: http://dpo.si.edu/blog/smithsonian-creates-first-ever-3d-presidential-portrait
Rapid Capture Digitization Comic Book: http://dpo.si.edu/sites/dpo.ocio.si.edu/files/DPO_CaptainCapture_Comic-FINAL_pagebypage.pdf
Digitization Program Office website: http://dpo.si.edu/
Twitter: @3D_Digi_SI and @SIxDIGI