I am very excited to announce that “Time Scanners” (http://www.pbs.org/program/time-scanners/) – a new TV series featuring Leica scanners and software being used to provide remarkable, new insights into iconic world heritage sites – will be premiering in the USA tonight (PBS @8:00pm Eastern; 7:00 pm Central; 8:00pm Pacific).
“Time Scanners” is, to date, the biggest & best exposure for laser scanning by far to the general public. Lauded as “amazing technology”, the show pairs Leica scanners and software with a renowned structural engineer (Steve Burrows, WSP) to provide viewers with a virtual journey back in time that unlocks some of the world’s oldest engineering mysteries.
The TV series began airing internationally in February and for many months all six episodes (Petra, Pyramids, St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), Coliseum, Machu Pichu, and Jerusalem) had found their way onto YouTube. However, YouTube versions are apparently no longer available, as they were apparently not formally unauthorized. So, if you want to see these shows, you can no longer simply look them up on YouTube. PBS is currently promoting a three-part series (Pyramids, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Petra), and may possibly opt to air the other three sites in the future.
Steve Burrows and Malcolm Williamson of Univ of Arkansas Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) gave a thrilling, standing-room-only presentation on Time Scanners at HxGN LIVE (picture below is Steve Burrows and myself after his presentation). Almost all of these sites had been scanned in the past and all had been studied by learned specialists for many, many years. So, what was the key to unlocking amazing, new secrets for this TV series? The key was putting rich, accurate, 3D scan data in front of the right person – in this case, Steve Burrows – who viewed the data with the eyes and experience of a world-class structural and building engineer. Another key was manipulating it (done by CAST staff) and viewing it in just the right way for him. The importance of those general ideas – providing the right deliverable to the right person – carry well beyond this TV series.
If you’re into scanning and want your friends & family to appreciate the technology you use, have them watch this if they can. Also, anyone into construction or architecture will love these shows, so pass the word.
For additional information about the teams behind this series and each site, see this link for Atlantic Productions (UK), which produced the TV series: http://www.timescanners.com/us/