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  • I'd like to start with a short story.

  • It's about a little boy

  • whose father was a history buff

  • and who used to take him by the hand

  • to visit the ruins of an ancient metropolis

  • on the outskirts of their camp.

  • They would always stop by to visit

  • these huge winged bulls that used to guard

  • the gates of that ancient metropolis,

  • and the boy used to be scared

  • of these winged bulls,

  • but at the same time they excited him.

  • And the dad used to use those bulls

  • to tell the boy stories about

  • that civilization and their work.

  • Let's fast-forward to the

  • San Francisco Bay Area many decades later,

  • where I started a technology company

  • that brought the world its first

  • 3D laser scanning system.

  • Let me show you how it works.

  • Female Voice: Long range laser scanning

  • by sending out a pulse that's a laser beam of light.

  • The system measures the beam's time of flight,

  • recording the time it takes for the light

  • to hit a surface and make its return.

  • With two mirrors, the scanner calculates

  • the beam's horizontal and vertical angles,

  • giving accurate x, y, and z coordinates.

  • The point is then recorded

  • into a 3D visualization program.

  • All of this happens in seconds.

  • Ben Kacyra: You can see here,

  • these systems are extremely fast.

  • They collect millions of points at a time

  • with very high accuracy

  • and very high resolution.

  • A surveyor with traditional survey tools

  • would be hard-pressed to produce

  • maybe 500 points in a whole day.

  • These babies would be producing

  • something like ten thousand points a second.

  • So, as you can imagine,

  • this was a paradigm shift

  • in the survey and construction

  • as well as in reality capture industry.

  • Approximately ten years ago,

  • my wife and I started a foundation to do good,

  • and right about that time,

  • the magnificent Bamiyan Buddhas,

  • hundred and eighty foot tall in Afghanistan,

  • were blown up by the Taliban.

  • They were gone in an instant.

  • And unfortunately, there was

  • no detailed documentation of these Buddhas.

  • This clearly devastated me,

  • and I couldn't help but wonder about

  • the fate of my old friends, the winged bulls,

  • and the fate of the many, many

  • heritage sites all over the world.

  • Both my wife and I

  • were so touched by this

  • that we decided to

  • expand the mission of our foundation

  • to include digital heritage preservation

  • of world sites.

  • We called the project CyArk,

  • which stands for Cyber Archive.

  • To date, with the help of

  • a global network of partners,

  • we've completed close to fifty projects.

  • Let me show you some of them:

  • Chichen Itza,

  • Rapa Nui --

  • and what you're seeing here

  • are the cloud of points --

  • Babylon,

  • Rosslyn Chapel,

  • Pompeii,

  • and our latest project, Mt. Rushmore,

  • which happened to be one of

  • our most challenging projects.

  • As you see here, we had to develop

  • a special rig to bring the scanner

  • up close and personal.

  • The results of our work in the field

  • are used to produce

  • media and deliverables to be used

  • by conservators and researchers.

  • We also produce media for

  • dissemination to the public --

  • free through the CyArk website.

  • These would be used for education,

  • cultural tourism, etc.

  • What you're looking at in here

  • is a 3D viewer that we developed

  • that would allow the display

  • and manipulation of [the] cloud of points

  • in real time, cutting sections through them

  • and extracting dimensions.

  • This happens to be the cloud of points

  • for Tikal.

  • In here you see a traditional 2D

  • architectural engineering drawing

  • that's used for preservation, and of course

  • we tell the stories through fly-throughs.

  • And here, this is a fly-through

  • the cloud of points of Tikal,

  • and here you see it rendered

  • and photo-textured with the photography

  • that we take of the site.

  • And so this is not a video.

  • This is actual 3D points with

  • two to three millimeter accuracy.

  • And of course the data can be used

  • to develop 3D models that are

  • very accurate and very detailed.

  • And here you're looking at a model

  • that's extracted from the cloud of points

  • for Stirling Castle.

  • It's used for studies, for visualization,

  • as well as for education.

  • And finally, we produce mobile apps

  • that include narrated virtual tools.

  • The more I got involved

  • in the heritage field,

  • the more it became clear to me

  • that we are losing the sites

  • and the stories faster than we can

  • physically preserve them.

  • Of course, earthquakes

  • and all the natural phenomena --

  • floods, tornadoes, etc. --

  • take their toll.

  • However, what occurred to me was

  • human-caused destruction, which was

  • not only causing a significant portion

  • of the destruction, but actually

  • it was accelerating.

  • This includes arson,

  • urban sprawl,

  • acid rain, not to mention

  • terrorism and wars.

  • It was getting more and more apparent

  • that we're fighting a losing battle.

  • We're losing our sites

  • and the stories,

  • and basically we're losing

  • a piece -- and a significant piece --

  • of our collective memory.

  • Imagine us as a human race

  • not knowing where we came from.

  • Luckily, in the last two or three decades,

  • digital technologies have been developing

  • that have helped us to develop tools

  • that we've brought to bear

  • in the digital preservation,

  • in our digital preservation war.

  • This includes, for example,

  • the 3D laser scanning systems,

  • ever more powerful personal computers,

  • 3D graphics,

  • high-definition digital photography,

  • not to mention the Internet.

  • Because of this accelerated

  • pace of destruction,

  • it became clear to us that we needed

  • to challenge ourselves and our partners

  • to accelerate our work.

  • And we created a project

  • we call the CyArk 500 Challenge --

  • and that is to digitally preserve

  • 500 World Heritage Sites

  • in five years.

  • We do have the technology

  • that's scaleable,

  • and our network of global partners

  • has been expanding and can be expanded

  • at a rapid rate,

  • so we're comfortable

  • that this task can be accomplished.

  • However, to me, the 500 is

  • really just the first 500.

  • In order to sustain our work into the future,

  • we use technology centers

  • where we partner with

  • local universities and colleges

  • to take the technology to them,

  • whereby they then can help us

  • with digital preservation of their heritage sites,

  • and at the same time, it gives them

  • the technology to benefit from in the future.

  • Let me close with another short story.

  • Two years ago, we were approached

  • by a partner of ours to digitally preserve

  • an important heritage site,

  • a UNESCO heritage site in Uganda,

  • the Royal Kasubi Tombs.

  • The work was done successfully in the field,

  • and the data was archived

  • and publicly disseminated

  • through the CyArk website.

  • Last March,

  • we received very sad news.

  • The Royal Tombs had been destroyed

  • by suspected arson.

  • A few days later, we received a call:

  • "Is the data available

  • and can it be used for reconstruction?"

  • Our answer, of course, was yes.

  • Let me leave you with a final thought.

  • Our heritage is much more than

  • our collective memory --

  • it's our collective treasure.

  • We owe it to our children,

  • our grandchildren and the generations

  • we will never meet

  • to keep it safe

  • and to pass it along.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you.

  • Well, I'm staying here because

  • we wanted to demonstrate to you

  • the power of this technology

  • and so, while I've been speaking,

  • you have been scanned.

  • (Laughter)

  • The two wizards that I have

  • that are behind the curtain

  • will help me bring

  • the results on the screen.

  • (Applause)

  • This is all in 3D and of course

  • you can fly through the cloud of points.

  • You can look at it from on top,

  • from the ceiling.

  • You can look from different vantage points,

  • but I'm going to ask Doug to zoom in

  • on an individual in the crowd,

  • just to show the amount of detail

  • that we can create.

  • So you have been digitally preserved

  • in about four minutes.

  • (Laughter)

  • I'd like to thank the wizards here.

  • We were very lucky to have

  • two of our partners participate in this:

  • the Historic Scotland,

  • and the Glasgow School of Art.

  • I'd like to also thank personally

  • the efforts of David Mitchell,

  • who is the Director of Conservation

  • at Historic Scotland.

  • David.

  • (Applause)

  • And Doug Pritchard, who's the Head of

  • Visualization at the Glasgow School of Art.

  • Let's give them a hand.

  • (Applause