Project Update: Mt. Rushmore
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Scott Lee
Director of Operations

Previewing the initial results from the Mt. Rushmore Digital Preservation Project

Project Update: Mt. Rushmore
Perspective view of registered laser scan data, showing Lincoln and Roosevelt
Project Update: Mt. Rushmore
Elizabeth Lee and Douglas Pritchard at 2010 Leica Conference
By this time, many are familiar with the story of our field collection efforts at Mt. Rushmore. After meticulously sorting through and editing 2.5 weeks of field data the CyArk team and our partners at CDDV are ready to offer a glimpse of our progress. Some of these materials, including the animation were first publicly presented at the Leica conference where Elizabeth Lee (CyArk) and Douglas Pritchard (CDDV) delivered the keynote. For those of you not at the event, this is the first opportunity to see the initial results on the CyArk website.

With the control network setup and terabytes of information safely backed up on several hard drives we began by registering the data. The Monument alone had 93 scans and that comprised of over 1.3 billion points for a resolution of 4mm. Of these 93 scans, 13 were captured with the Rig. The rest of the park grounds (131 scans) have been registered and are in the final stages of phototexturing with the HDR panoramic images. The park grounds and subsequent buildings are comprised of approximately 2 biliion points bringing the projects total to over 3 billion points. As you might expect that is a lot of data and the IMP (the file format used to store the laser data) is over 100 GB.

Our teams are now in the process of creating 2D CAD drawing that the park can use to track rock movement and help ensure the preservation of the Monument for future generations. We will work alongside CDDV to produce a mesh from the points and overlay the mesh with many of the over 14,000 photos collected. Once this process is completed we will have the ability to create photo-realistic animations and even generate rapid prototype models of the Monument.

While the production continues, we wanted to take this opportunity to share the first visualization animation of the complete registered data set of the Monument.

Please check back periodically for updates about Mt. Rushmore and our many other projects. We look forward to the public release of the Mt. Rushmore project on the CyArk website, as well as the additional educational and cultural tourism deliverables which will be produced over the remaining years of the project.

We would love to hear your comments on the project as well as hear your feedback on the concept of Project Update blogs. Please participate in the poll below, and use the comment box to share your thoughts.

Would you like to see more of the Project Update blogs?

Yes, I enjoy seeing updates on the projects in production

No, I would prefer to see all the media when the project is released


December 3rd, 2010 Brent Lee said:
Amazing. What do the different colors signify?
December 3rd, 2010 Scott Lee said:
The colors are the intensity values that the laser returns. You get different colors based on the reflectivity of the scanned surface.
December 12th, 2010 Ruth Halligan said:
Too late for "The Old Man of the Mountain" in NH.
December 19th, 2010 Sharon said:
Why is this better than a high def video? Because you can tell if it's been changed? Or it provides insight into the inside somehow?
December 20th, 2010 Scott Lee said:

While high definition video is a useful tool it is more for visualization. By laser scanning the mountain we have a millimetrically accurate 3d model of the site. This allows conservators to take measurements and track changes over time. It also allows for virtual tours, updated maps and other tools that can be used by the site to better manage and preserve.
December 27th, 2010 Brian Schuster said:
I was fortunate to see this project in it's infancy at SPAR in Houston last March and talk to the NPS manager of the park. Great to see the progress that has been made - what a fun scanning project. Delicate Arch next?

October 17th, 2011 abby case said:
Wow that is realy cool i wish i could do that you should make a movie of Mount Rushmore in 3D you could realy turn out to be rich still good job on that pic up there
November 16th, 2011 Marie Smith said:
didn't answer my question of what type of rock is mt. rushmore
November 16th, 2011 Justin Barton said:

The mountain is mostly granite with some mica schist, but you can find more detailed information at the following links:

Thank you for your question!

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