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Laser-Scanning U.S. Landmarks

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the just-in-case dept.

Technology 262

MeanMF writes "The New York Daily News reports in this article that the National Park Service is creating detailed 3-D maps of national monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore using high-resolution laser scanners. Their goal is to create highly-accurate blueprints that can be used to reconstruct the monuments if they are damaged by a terrorist attack or other means." The same story is also available at Yahoo!.

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this first post has remained unclaimed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021721)

for too long

Sunglasses at Night (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021722)

Casino Royae

hmm... (1, Insightful)

FS1 (636716) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021726)

So this is my tax dollars hard at work.

Re:hmm... (2, Insightful)

deadsaijinx* (637410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021903)

Of course it is. Sure, we are the _largest_ deptor country in the world, sure we are spending billions of deficite dollars on the military; but isn't rebuilding an exact replica of Mt. Rushmore more important. After all, terrorists would never attack a major city, or infect our water supply, so there is no need to put some money into those defenses. We don't have people in our cities that can't make a living wage. As such a perfect country, we obviously have only to protect what really counts; a few statues and a mountain shaped like some dead peoples heads.

Okay, so the idea is kinda cool, but this is definitely _not_ what the government should be spending their (^our^) money on. Oh, well, that's what happens when Texans are in charge.

Re:hmm... (5, Interesting)

sydlexic (563791) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022121)

boy, if you think this is waste, I've got a few government agencies to sell you. this is probably one of the better uses of our tax dollars (relatively speaking).

Replace them? (5, Insightful)

Encomium (568657) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021727)

Would we really want to replace them though? Seems to me this would be like rebuildign the World Trade Centers exactly like they were, and noone is suggesting that, so why would monuments be different?

Re:Replace them? (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021777)

The original world trade center has proven to be vulnerable to terrorist attacks and fire.

Besides if they were rebuilt would you want to work in them? I certainly would not. It would be very unoccupied. Former employees of the world trade center would rather quit their jobs then return to the WTC for obvious reasons.

Re:Replace them? (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022165)

did you watch what happened?

You expect to believe that another large structure would be able to withstand an explosion of that magnitude in the basement level and not collapse like these did?

Then you believe that being hit by two fucking planes and the buildings standing strong for the amount of time they did doesn't mean that they were VERY well built?

If you think that any building out there would withstand that you are a bigger moron than you seem.

Re:Replace them? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022249)

The WTC was designed to survive a plane strike.

Problem was, the worst case at the time was a 707. 757 and 767s are much bigger.

http://revobiz.dyndns.org/group/seaint/2001c/msg 02 054.html
"Try "Impact and Explosion, Analysis and Design " by M.Y.H Bangash, CRC Press, ISBN 0-8493-7742-0

For aircraft impact on structures, there is the Stevenson's direct impact model, the Riera model and Wolf et al model; also included Impact force vs time curves for many aircraft models."

http://www.engg.ksu.edu/kse/features/wtc.htm

"At the time of construction, the buildings were built with the latest technology to withstand almost anything, even the impact of a 707. The 707 was the largest Boeing jet in existence at the time. Why did they still crumble to the ground if they were built to withstand the impact of a jumbo jet?"

"When the towers were constructed, the engineers were confident that the towers could withstand the immense blow from the largest plane of the era, the 140-ton Boeing 707 airliner. What the engineers of that time could not have predicted were the larger, 767's that the terrorists flew into defenseless buildings. The Boeing 767 is a massive airliner half the length of a football field and just as wide, weighing 225 tons (over 80 tons more than the 707). If the jets hit the towers at Mach .8 (530mph, regular cruising speed), they would hit with a force of 42 million Newtons or 128 kilotons of force."

And we know now that the biggest factor in the WTC strikes was the amount of fuel in the planes which weakened the steel.

http://www.civil.usyd.edu.au/wtc.htm

"However, as fire raged in the upper floors, the heat would have been gradually affecting the behaviour of the remaining material. As the planes had only recently taken off, the fire would have been initially fuelled by large volumes of jet fuel, creating potentially enormously high temperatures. The strength of the steel drops markedly with prolonged exposure to fire, while the elastic modulus of the steel reduces (stiffness drops), increasing deflections."

Re:Replace them? (5, Insightful)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021778)

Seems to me this would be like rebuildign the World Trade Centers exactly like they were, and noone is suggesting that, so why would monuments be different?
A couple of definitions might help:
Monument 1. A structure, such as a building or sculpture, erected as a memorial. 2. An inscribed marker placed at a grave; a tombstone. 3. Something venerated for its enduring historic significance or association with a notable past person or thing: the architectural monuments of ancient Rome; traditions that are monuments to an earlier era. 4 a. An outstanding enduring achievement: a translation that is a monument of scholarship. b. An exceptional example: "Thousands of them wrote texts, some of them monuments of dullness" (Robert L. Heilbroner). 5. An object, such as a post or stone, fixed in the ground so as to mark a boundary or position. 6. A written document, especially a legal one.
World Trade Center 1. An ugly office building.

Re:Replace them? (2, Interesting)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021782)

With all this talk about developing the WTC site, my AP government teacher had an interesting idea. Rebuild the WTC, exactly as it was, except make both of the towers one storie higher.

Re:Replace them? (2)

capnjack41 (560306) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021899)

They don't want to rebuild the WTC exactly as it was, for philosophical/religious reasons (it's considered sacred by many people, because so many died there; building on the original footprints is a no-no), as well as practical reasons: recently (AFAIK) very tall office buildings just aren't selling a whole lot of square feet of officespace these days. Rebuilding a monument is a different story.

Re:Replace them? (5, Funny)

Peterus7 (607982) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021922)

Well, one things for certain, the French sure aren't gonna build us another Statue of Liberty, with the way we've been acting lately.

Legal problems? (1)

radon28 (593565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022220)

Their mission: "Reverse engineering." That's what they call it when a physical object is the source for blueprints -- instead of the other way around.

Does this violate the DMCA?

Think repairing the Pentagon, not rebuilding WTC (2)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022241)

Not every terrorist attack is going to be of the scale of the World Trade Centers. Don't forget the other 9/11 attack, the Pentagon. It didn't destroy the whole building, just one wedge. And they repaired it, trying to match the original appearance as much as possible.

In fact, it is more likely that terrorist attacks will damage a landmark and not completely destroy it. In those cases, having accurate information on the original will be invaluable.

Wow (5, Funny)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021738)

So a team from Texas Tech University was dispatched to document the tone of her copper skin, the undulations of her flowing gown, the muscles in her outstretched arm, the curve of her lips and the height, width and depth of her wide-open eyes.


Lady Liberty is sexy sexy sexy! They forgot to mention her heaving bosom though.

Re:Wow (1)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021785)

Ok, this is completely off-topic, but it's kind of creepy how when I went to dictionary.com (had to make sure I had the correct spelling for bosom) a popup for match.com popped up with a bunch of ladies with my city and province (canadian) in their listings.

I should use an anonymous proxy. I'd switch to Mozilla but IE is just so fast for some reason :) [/joke]

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021838)

Lady Liberty is sexy sexy sexy! They forgot to mention her heaving bosom though.

Son, Daddy only drank so the Statue of Liberty would take her clothes off.

lasers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021747)

In Soviet Russia the Lasers ARE the terrorist attack!

Re:lasers (-1)

handybundler (232934) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022199)

If this is true then the lasers have already won.

Next on Slashdot: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021753)

"Mysterious burning marks all over the US!"

-$|{

This I gotta see.. (4, Funny)

Cali Thalen (627449) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021760)

It's one thing to rebuild the Statue of Liberty, I can see how that might be accomplished (albeit at quite a cost).

What I dont' get is...why Mt. Rushmore? They're going to have one hell of a time re-carving that thing back into the mountain, expecially after being demolished by something...well, big enough to blow something like that up.

Cool idea, all in all though.

Re:This I gotta see.. (2, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021836)

This is so they can add Bush and Rumsfeld to the replacement Mt Rushmore.

Re:This I gotta see.. (5, Funny)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021924)

It's one thing to rebuild the Statue of Liberty, I can see how that might be accomplished (albeit at quite a cost).

Yeah right. they still haven't gotten around to fixing that crack in the liberty bell.

No vision? (4, Insightful)

Rainier Wolfecastle (591298) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021763)

Not to sound crass or anything, but is that really what people would want? If an historic monument is destroyed, replacing it doesn't mean that it never happenend, it just means that it was replaced.

I would think that if something like this were to happen, then some new, awe-inspiring monument could be built. However, It seems to me that there has been a dearth in people eligible for immortalization in a mountain face (for example) for quite a while now.

Re:No vision? (2)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021871)

I would want the Statue of Liberty replaced. It's a historical symbol.

The WTC were big office buildings, and frankly not very attractive ones. It makes a lot of sense to update their appearance and functionality in the course of rebuilding. They will endure as symbols, in our memories.

Their goal is to create highly-accurate blueprints that can be used to reconstruct the monuments if they are damaged by a terrorist attack or other means.

I was thinking the project sounded cool until I read the reason. Sigh.

Re:No vision? (1)

iamr00t (453048) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022244)

Monuments are a tourist major attraction.
I doubt tourists would go the site that says "this monument marks the place where another monument stood untill it was destroyed by tornado".

Also, some monuments are symbols, like another post here says. Not all of them, mostly the ones that were specificaly built to be a monument (WTC wasn't for example).

But... (0)

dapuk (603973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021769)

I wonder what security is in place to ensure that these blueprints remain accurate...

That's what I call a backup! (5, Funny)

FurryFeet (562847) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021771)

Sure gives a new meaning to the phrase "disaster recovery", don't it? Altough, if restoring from tape is a bitch, now imagine this one...

Usable by free flight simulators? (2)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021773)

I hope they release the raw data. It can be used by flight simulator games to enhance the visual quality when rendering these monuments.

Re:Usable by free flight simulators? (2)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021798)

Show me one single flight simulator which is able to use data this accurate. For flight simulators it would be a new features to show the statue of liberty as seen by a fly.

-1 NOT funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021807)

filter

Re:Usable by free flight simulators? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021809)

Like exactly where (as in weak spot) to fly your plane to cause the entire Statue of Liberty to collapse?

Posted anonymously to protect my precious, precious karma :)

Re:Usable by free flight simulators? (2, Insightful)

setiyeti (613025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021980)

I hope they release the raw data

Then terrorists may be able to use it to their advantage to find weakspots in (for eg) Mount Rushmore. I imagine they will be able to find flaws in rushmore that could be exploited by high explosives.

I wish I hadn't thought of that...

Except if these maps didn't exist. . . (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021775)

no one would know the replacements weren't *exact*, would they?

How many millions do they intend to spend to replicate every ding and pidgeon dropping aquired over decades and not intended by the original artist in the first place?

When you total your car, you can have it fixed or you can buy a new one, but attempting to *duplicate* the old one down to the placement of the least little old molocule not only pretty much defines "prohibitively expensive", but A: Isn't possible, and B: As an idea is just plain doofey.

KFG

I can see it already (2, Funny)

Kylow (581998) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021780)

Step One of our diabolical terrorist plan: Destroy the National Parks Service Headquarters!

Waste of Money Period! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021786)

I am sure we have more urgent needs...

15 seconds after they are done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021790)

15 seconds after they are done, the currect administration will classify the records so they will never be seen again...

Important (5, Funny)

Jon Peterson (1443) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021792)

This is very important. If our monuments are destroyed, we have to build them again exactly as they were before. That's because the key thing about monuments is not what they represent, but their particular physical specifications. By rebuilding exactly as before, we send a message to the terrorists that we keep very good records, and aren't afraid to use them.

Contrast this to the way our enemies behave. When we bomb their command centers, rather than rebuilding them exactly as they were before, they rebuild them to be more bomb proof. This shows how little respect for their own history they have.

Re:Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021841)

hahaha. excellent :)

funny thing is i can imagine shrub saying this.

Re:Important (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021854)

oh come on! if terrorists were to destroy the statue of liberty for example, i would want it rebuilt exactly the same. It can still be remade more bomb proof but look the same. In fact, when they rebuild it they can make it out of GOLD and put lots of FIBER OPTICS and NEON LIGHTS all over, oooh and Tux stickers all over!! Schweeeeet!

Re:Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021965)

Pft. Why not just rebuild the statue of liberty as a massive statue of Tux? Nothing like a gigantic penguin to scare away would-be terrorists.

Re:Important (5, Insightful)

Edgy Loner (44682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021889)

Rather than destruction, think maintainence. After all the biggest threat to these structures is age. Documenting their condition now gives a benchmark to comapre against future conditions. That will make it possible to detect slow changes.

Re:Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022040)

not all things last forever y'know

Re:Important (2)

dagg (153577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021940)

I'd be willing to bet that the architect of a replacement would certainly think about improving the original work. This doesn't mean having to change the outward appearance necessarily, it just means using electricity instead of fire, for example.

We should scan Dubya (4, Funny)

sakusha (441986) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021796)

and replace him with a robot replica.

Re:We should scan Dubya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021882)

and replace him with a robot replica.

And the difference would be...?

Re:We should scan Dubya (1)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021944)

Laser eyes.
Also super-strength.

Re:We should scan Dubya (1)

deadsaijinx* (637410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022007)

Robots are logic, Georgy boy isn't.
Of course, we would probably be better of with the robot.

Re:We should scan Dubya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022159)

It's OK -- when you don't have anything truly insightful to say, you should always just make fun of Dubya, that always works.

send her back to France (3, Funny)

ademko (32584) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021797)

If anything happens to the Statue of Liberty, why not just send her back to France and get them to do warranty repair. I'm sure the French wouldn't mind, especially if you've purchased the extended warranty :)

IMHO... (2)

neildogg (119502) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021808)

I think what makes most of the US landmarks great is that they're originals. Anyone that's studied the history of Mount Rushmore knows that one of the great things about it is that it was so hard to make. To reproduce something like that nowadays rids us of the pre-destruction history. I like what they're planning on doing at ground zero, instead of recreating the two towers, they are planning on doing... something else... I don't like "undoing" bad things that happen, I think bad things are important to everyone and should be left as such. Hmm, so maybe they can make 3d models in the future for us to remember it. Life is life, bad stuff happens, people die. I don't know why America wants to prevent ANYTHING bad from happening. Errr, anything bad happening to them.

Re:IMHO... (1, Flamebait)

zenyu (248067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021974)

Anyone that's studied the history of Mount Rushmore knows that one of the great things about it is that it was so hard to make.

You do know it was built as a turist trap for auto travelers and as a "Fuck You!" to the natives to whom the mountain was a major monument before it was, ummm, defaced?

I would think it hilarious if some vandal managed to carve Osama into the mountain, it shouldn't be destoyed if they manage it, just like the presidents shouldn't be taken off just because of the sad history of the place. Erasing the evidence of history doesn't make it go away.

We're not rebuilding the World Trade Center... (2)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021817)

--at least, not in the sense of building it the same way, even approximately the same way, as it was before.

Why does anyone think that we would try to rebuild exact copies of any other monument?

Surely the emotional resonance of these monuments comes from the knowledge that they ARE original to the time in which they were built. How could a replica arouse any more genuine feeling than those in Las Vegas [fernt.com] or Japan? [endex.com]

Re:We're not rebuilding the World Trade Center... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022104)

> We're not rebuilding the World Trade Center...Why does anyone think that we would try to rebuild exact copies of any other monument?

Because the WTC was never a monument in the first place; it only became one after 9/11. It was an impressive collection of commercial office space. All the other places have always been monuments, and their form is an important part of their being, well, monumental.

Surely you can see the difference between a Las Vegas replica, not to the same scale, and a restoration built on the original site after a disaster?..

Re:We're not rebuilding the World Trade Center... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022171)

Look what they did to our (dutch) monuments:

http://www.huistenbosch.co.jp/foreign/english/in de x.html

turned it in to a themepark...

Michael Jackson .. (5, Funny)

Macka (9388) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021822)

..had the same thing done for his face last month; just in case he accidentally stepped out into a strong wind!

Macka

The real Target (4, Funny)

Malicious (567158) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021827)

[devil's advocate]
Shouldn't the US Gov concentrate harder on getting the DNA sequences of every American citizen, so that they can clone anyone killed in the terrorist attacks, wrather than focus on the materialistic parts of the country?
What's more important?
[/devil's advocate]

Re:The real Target (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022033)

Ha ha, you are so funny.

I have a better idea (2, Flamebait)

Stanley Feinbaum (622232) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021842)

How about the USA changing its destructive foreign policy so we don't have terrorists trying to kill us and destroy monuments.

Like that would ever happen though...

And no. I didn't vote for Bush.

Re:I have a better idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021908)

I have an even better idea. How about we ship you ass to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq or North Korea and you can spend all your time complaining about America with Saddam, Bin Laden, or Jong? Then I'd be happy to volunteer to drop a nuke on your ass and your new found friends.

Re:I have a better idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022060)

Yeah, because it's America's "destructive foreign policy" that causes terrorism. NOT a totally immoral, savage worldview (i.e. fundamentalist Islam) that helps breed it and make it a reality. That's like saying McDonald's causes obesity, and not the fat motherfuckers who decide to eat Big Mac's for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Personal responsibility for everyone -- including terrorism.

Come on. Terrorists choose to be terrorists -- there is a clear line between those who are unhappy with American policy, and those who decide to kill innocent people in protest of it.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022160)

true.. but the US government is the biggest proponent of state-sponsored terrorism on the planet. It is the only country condemned by the World Court for international terrorism; a UN resolution was even drafted up when it failed to heed the World Court, calling on all members to respect international law.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022197)

BUT! BUT! BUT! you cry. It doesn't matter. Even if the USA is the "biggest proponent of state-sponsored terrorism" (which is debatable) it still doesn't give other terrorists a moral excuse to commit their disgusting acts. NOTHING "causes" terrorism except for immorality and savagery. Can we agree on that? I can't make you blow up a building... you have to decide to do that. And if you do, you've made the wrong decision.

Ghostbusters (2)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021866)

Now, if only we had this before protoplasmic slime, a few wacky guys with a nintendo controller and bad music caused all those unsighlty stretchmarks on the statue of liberty..

Never heard of this (1, Offtopic)

neildogg (119502) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021897)

'"Sept. 11 heightened fears that we could lose this thing -- along with other high-profile American icons -- to cultural terrorism," said Glenn Hill, an architecture professor at Texas Tech who heads the scanning team.'

What's cultural terrorism?

The real God is only Allah, and all other false gods should be removed." This statement from the one-eyed cleric Mullah Omar sent a chill through the international community following an edict issued by Afghanistan's fundamentalist Taliban regime announcing that all pre-Islamic statues in the country were to be destroyed. That edict, and the resulting destruction, has been universally condemned as "cultural terrorism." [archaeology.org]

If stuff like this is cultural terrorism, wouldn't it mean that America was founded on terrorism? (relating to native Americans)

Re:Never heard of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022076)

Yeah, ha ha. So I guess we should all pay for something a bunch of dead dudes (the early Americans) did 100 years ago. I didn't have anything to do with that shit, so I refuse to apologize for it.

Re:Never heard of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022112)

> If stuff like this is cultural terrorism, wouldn't it mean that America was founded on terrorism? (relating to native Americans)

Yep, not to mention a near genocide (unsuccessful not for a lack of trying).

plastic surgery + mount rushmore! (1)

Superfarstucker (621775) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021902)

i have a vision.. michael jackson's plastic surgeons and the rebuilding of mount rushmore... nuff said!

it's funny... (2, Insightful)

mansoft (371174) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021905)

From the title, I imagined that having accurate 3D models of monuments could serve educational purposes... But it was just to reconstruct them in case of terrorist attacks! I mean, really, is anyone else sick of terrorism being the number 1 excuse for everything?

Corporate Sponsorship (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021917)

I think if any of these landmarks get destroyed, they should be rebuilt with corporate money. Then, the corporation can add it's own name, just like they're doing with paying money to rename civic sports venues. How about the "Tyco Statue of Liberty" or the "Global Crossing U.S. Capitol Rotunda"?

Even though the researchers... (2, Insightful)

xaxat (309420) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021929)

May not admit it, this project probably has a far more mundane purpose than the stated one of restoration in the event of terrorist attack. I think documentation and preservation are probably their goals. They want this information to record and document the process of oxidation on Lady Liberty, or how long Washington's nose is on Rushmore. However with the current climate it is far easier to get funding if there is a terrorism angle as opposed to boring old historical preservation. (When was the last time you read an article on monument preservation?)

Terroism = more funding for this project (5, Informative)

release7 (545012) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021938)

I read about this project in the NYT a while back even before the WTC attack. So this project was under way before 9/11/01. As evidenced by this link, [sds3dscan.com] they are using the terrorist attacks to seek more funding for the project. For those without Acrobat Reader, the article says, 'The event [9/11] has raised the significance of the project. "There was dedication before but now the sense is there will be more funding."'

So the project wasn't started as a direct result of the attacks as this headline would lead you to believe.

Got to watch out for those terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021952)

They're plotting to blow up Jefferson's nose with a briefcase nuke as we speak.

Lego, are you listening? (3, Funny)

Kaz Riprock (590115) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021961)


I'd imagine that if we were to give these plans to Lego, we'd have some really kickass home versions of all of the monuments. Or how about the 3D puzzle people? Or a craft store? There's consumeristic profit to be reaped from these laser scans...I wonder if the park system will see it.

Same Construction Methodology? (1)

Josuah (26407) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021962)

Will they also be able to reconstruct these memorials with the original materials and methods? Seems to me a green plastic Statue of Liberty wouldn't mean as much as a copper one done the same way as the original. (Of course, natural deterioration is different too.)

Anyone else see Armitage III? There's a comment about how they're building Statues of Liberties everywhere.

Great export idea (1)

martindp (540152) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021969)

USA should export this idea to the rest of the world.
I imagine the Iraq government would be very interested. I'm asuming that they have children too.

We use this in mining (2)

core plexus (599119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021972)

We've been using this in mining for more than 5 years. It's excellent for making digital elevation models (so we can plan for mining and later restore the mined lands), collecting vegetation info, and so on. Here's a link, [lut.ac.uk] in PDF, to an old paper I had bookmarked.

Man Gets 70mpg in Homemade Car-Made from a Mainframe Computer [xnewswire.com]

Wow (1)

Captain Nitpick (16515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021977)

A government agency planning ahead...

I guess they'll be ready when Lrrr from Omicron Persei 8 shows up with his anti-monument laser [tvtome.com] .

because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5021981)

... blueprints are for wussies.

Money better spend elsewhere (1)

Simon Lyngshede (623138) | more than 11 years ago | (#5021983)

Im not saying that it's a bad idea, you could use it to show future generations how something looked, but in general the money could be spent better.

I suggest a very large bomb, maybe two. Or larger paycheck to soldiers, police, fire department and people like that.

Re:Money better spend elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022141)

> I suggest a very large bomb, maybe two.

Moderated -1, Redundant. We already have very large bombs (daisy cutters, fuel/air bombs) and thermonukes. What other kind(s) did you mean?..

> Or larger paycheck to soldiers, police, fire department and people like that.

Strongly agreed.

It's about the SYMBOLISM (5, Insightful)

Trillian_1138 (221423) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022000)

I agree, to some extent, that the idea of replacing the Statue of Liberty, Mt Rushmore, the Capitol Building, or any other well-known national monument as exactly as possible is slightly silly. The comment made about replacing a car after a crash, and not wanting to replicate all of the origonal dings and scratches is somewhat reasonable.

But I think you're missing the point about the symbolism and memories contained in these monuments. If my car was totaled, I would be sad not only because I would have lost simply a means of transportation, but I would have lost a location where memories were made. Driving on the highway while friends taunted the 18 year-old engine ("Wow! It hit 55! You think it can get to sixty?"), packing 7 people into a 2-door hatchback, etc. I'd miss all that had happened in the car, as well as the car itself.

Likewise, losing the Statue of Liberty to terrorists, a giant space-crane, Godzilla, or whatever won't simply mean there's new real-estate open on Liberty Island. It'll mean a national monument that watched over hundreds of thousands of immigrants, saw the USA through two World Wars, a presidential assasination, putting people on the moon, the Cold War, Vietnam, etc, etc, etc, will be gone.

I use the Statue of Liberty as an example because I think it's America's 'best' and 'most important' monument. I don't particularly care for Mt. Rushmore (I think it's vaguely creepy), and the Capitol Building doesn't impress me much. The Statue of Liberty represents ideals that America hasn't always been great holding true to, I admit. I'll be the first to criticize the current administration and have no problem pointing out ways we've screwed up in the past. We've fucked up a lot, both internaly and with the rest of the world, and I'm sure we'll continue doing it. But I think the Statue of Liberty, or the Lincoln Memorial, or the Jefferson, or the Washington represent what is, has, and (I _really_ hope) will continue to be great about the USA.

So. I don't think mapping these monuments down to a quarter inch is 'silly' or 'stupid' or a 'waste of time.' Having recently visited New York and seen Lady Liberty up close, and still strongly remembering my 8th grade clase trip to Washington D.C., I would be heartbroken if any of a number of our national monuments fell. I can't honestly say I would support rebuilding the Statue of Liberty exactly as she stood. It would be kind of weird, I recognize that.

But I definatly think we should have the option. At the very least, it will allow for faithful 3D models to be replicated. Maybe someday my kids will be able to walk through a 3D model of New York City _exactly_ the way it stood on September 10th, 2001.

So maybe these 3D models will be completely useless, either because the monuments will not be attacked or because people won't want to rebuild them exactly the same.

But I think it would be a horrible shame not to have the option.

-Trillian

Seriously... (4, Funny)

Sayten241 (592677) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022043)

Who leaves a job like this up to college kids. I can just see a post-apocolyptic era in which the statue of liberty is a girl in a bikini waving a sign that says "Texas A&M blows" on it.

here's an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022048)

...how about implementing foreign policy that doesn't piss off the citizens of other countries so much that they fly big planes into those landmarks to begin with. Nothing like threatening a foreign government with bombing if they don't let you run an oil pipeline through their country to make for friendly neighbors.

Nah, better to have lots of make-work and keep that top 1% fat and happy.

Christ.

Not The Panacea (3, Interesting)

limekiller4 (451497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022059)

From the article [nydailynews.com] :
"The world-famous lady has posed for millions of photos, but since her creator left no blueprints and only minimal design sketches, replacing her in the event of a catastrophic loss would have been all but impossible.

Nonsense. The difficulty would be the engineering, but quite far from "all but impossible." What laser mapping the surface does is give us an accurate measure of the skin (both inside and out). Laser mapping doesn't tell us jack about the underlying structure which is where the vast, vast majority of the work would be. And the skin can be replicated from the extremely high resolution pictures we already have.

In other words this makes a difficult task a bit easier. This does not bridge some do-or-die gap where if we didn't have it we couldn't accomplish the task.

Funny Story (1)

rmsousa (614388) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022061)

Here in my hometown there was once a metallurgic strike. The siderurgic here is the biggest in the country, so the government sent the army to stop the strike. The army, being as subtle as in every other country, killed three people in the process. The sindicate made a monument in the middle of a big square, for the three men killed by the military. The military didn't like the monument. It happens that the thing exploded, and although there _were_ found remains of a kind of bomb, the military kept giving some lame excuse about a plane breaking the sound barrier causing the explosion. Well, it was a monument about the army killing innocents, then the people thought that the destroyed monument represented the military truculence a lot more than the old one, so they left it destroyed. Until recently when it was restored (but the results of the explosion are still visible, they left some parts of the monument a bit twisted...)

Re:Funny Story (1)

rmsousa (614388) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022073)

I love the way HTML does not recognize two linefeeds as a paragraph...

Well... Just use the fucking preview button, I already know that.

Re:Funny Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022113)

thats fuckin hillarious

but not the dead people part
fuck the army and fuck the police and fuck the usa

Hmm... (2)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022068)

I want to know what they would do with the statue of liberty because it's made of copper so any repairs made to it would be bright shiny copper with the rest of it being the green corroded copper. I suppose they'd more likely knock the whole statue down and rebuild it. I think if there were large salvagable pieces of the feet, torch or face that they should be preserved some way as a monument instead of rebuilding it though.

Re:Hmm... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022202)

"iamdrscience"???
The green colour is because of oxidation... Hence the bright shiny copper will become green after some time, as you should know if you are Dr. Science. The repaired parts would certainly become green and it would be nearly indistinguishable from the original.

The Statue of Liberty undoubtly was shiny when they parts were constructed in France. I suspect they corroded quite fast by the transport over the ocean. She stand on an island (implying sea, implying salt water, implying faster corrosion), so expect the shiny parts to turn green very fast.

Re:Hmm... (2)

BCoates (512464) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022237)

Hence the bright shiny copper will become green after some time, as you should know if you are Dr. Science.

He's not a real doctor. He has a Master's degree.

--
Benjamin Coates

here comes hollywood (1)

f00zbll (526151) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022103)

Anyone think these models will be used by hollywood to make perfect replicas for movies? I could be synical, but part of me says if it's in the library of congress and available, why not use it in a movie.

I just hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022134)

that folks who can really use this data can get ahold of it. Like id software. A Quake level that takes place inside the statue of liberty would be way cool. Or TuxRacer down Mount Rushmore.

(Personally, I'm a Descent fan. I can't wait to fly my Pyro GX through the capitol building. I bet I can get scanned images of my congressmen on the web, and make fairly accurate robots out of them. Uh-oh, here comes the FB

Finally ??? is solved! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022153)

1. Create a plan, any business idea is ok.
2. ??? = Update plan to include "terrorism" everywhere.
3. PROFIT!!!

Great. Now we have disposable landamarks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5022158)

Just like our culture. Is this what the artists intended when they created these works?

Re:Great. Now we have disposable landamarks. (3, Funny)

BCoates (512464) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022206)

Just like our culture. Is this what the artists intended when they created these works?

It is a statue of Liberty, not a statue of Respect for History.

(imagines a giant copper statue of an elderly librarian with coke-bottle glasses, sitting behind a desk with a 'sssh!' gesture)

--
Benjamin Coates

The real target is people (1)

Sophrosyne (630428) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022248)

Last time I checked the typical target for terrorism was people. I don't think they would hit a target unless their was a considerable amount of lives at stake, or a disruption of services.
This seems like a big waste of money. Put that money into protecting people, not restricting civil liberties and mapping everything with some lasers.

Reverse-engineering (5, Funny)

Trogre (513942) | more than 11 years ago | (#5022250)

So they're reverse-engineering architectural features for the purpose of making replacement copies. I wonder if this falls under the jurisdiction of the DMCA?

Hopefully it would fall under 'fair use' as it is (reportedly) for backup purposes.

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