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Medora, ND
Scanning Our Way In North Dakota

By TJ McCueFriday, June 20, 2014
3D, Scanning

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North Dakota is a bit off the beaten path and that's a good thing -- you can experience part of America that, for some, seems to have vanished. Thankfully, the little town of Medora has kept that from happening with at least two treasures that we visited, and laser scanned:

First, the Maltese Cross Cabin in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The fine folks at the National Park Service were super helpful in making a 3D scan possible -- in fact -- it is our first official scan of the #3DRV trip! This historic building (log cabin) is well-preserved and we hope our digital scan gives the NPS team a file that allows others to come visit it virtually. 

The images above show when you walk in the front door. Then looking from the back door towards the front. Next image shows the point cloud version. Finally, a closeup of the woodstove. After we left, I wondered if I should have taken measurements. No need to do that, however, with Autodesk ReCap because it has all that data from the scans. Sweet. 

According to the site, several items in the cabin belonged to Theodore Roosevelt, including: "Roosevelt's traveling trunk sits in the bedroom and is inscribed with his initials. The large leather trunk traveled back and forth with him on the train from his home in New York City to the stop in Medora and would have held clothing and personal items."

There is also a common rocking chair that is believed to have been Roosevelt's. You can see it in several of the images. Rocking chairs were his favorite piece of furniture, and Roosevelt once wrote, "What true American does not enjoy a rocking-chair?"

Second place we visited and scanned: The Medora Musical has a western-style musical show dedicated to the legacy of America's 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt. This 2,900-seat amphitheatre, overlooks the Little Missouri River Valley, and features some historic looking buildings as the stage/set. There's plenty of food if you come for the Pitchfork Steak Fondue before the show. 

So we asked the manager if we could 3D scan the "Medora Musical" town and, as you can see here in the video, he said yes. We captured the scene with a FARO scanner and processed it in Autodesk ReCap software. We have a couple of powerful HP computers on loan to us and the ZBook laptop zipped through these large scan files with ease. Thanks HP! I'm working on a short review-type post to give you some of the specs and details, so if you process video or 3D animations you'll want to stay tuned. 

We're not 3D pros yet, but we're learning fast! What you see in this short video is the scan data -- both in the pretty photographic aspects, then the point cloud-ish version where it isn't as crisp. But you can toggle back and forth, as needed. I'm eager to show you some of the photogrammetry versions we're doing via 123D Catch as well as the ReCap Pro software.

Thanks again for reading and for keeping the comments and requests coming!

Follow along at! #3DRV

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