Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Laser mapping tool traces ancient sites

A great use of modern techniques to preserve decaying monuments over at www.cyark.org.

...Kacyra developed this laser-mapping tool several years ago to solve a problem in construction -- keeping accurate records of the real dimensions of factories and power plants when they deviate from the architect's plans.

The 67-year-old sold his invention in 2001 and now works with his wife, Barbara, to get the $100,000 tool into the hands of archaeological researchers who are using it to create electronic blueprints so accurate that scientists sitting at computer terminals can glean the secrets of ancient monuments remotely.

"We both loved the ancient-built environment and we wanted to put high technology to use saving ancient places," Kacyra said.

Today the Kacyras have created a Web site, at www.cyark.org, that allows anyone to see these blueprintlike images. But that's just the start. Down the line they would like to superimpose real graphics on top of these geospatial maps -- recreating ancient worlds onscreen.

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