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New York, NY
No Limits: Observations From Ellis Island

By TJ McCueFriday, October 24, 2014
Reality Computing

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The first photo in this post is a close-up of the ceiling within the Ellis Island immigration station. Maybe you have looked up to see it on your own trip there. Perhaps you have only heard about the place famous in American history for what it represents to people seeking a new life and freedom. The last image is a close-up of the tile floor that others have walked.

That ceiling and the entire place touched my heart in a way I didn’t expect.

Many of us have ancestors whose dreams went through this ceiling, metaphorically speaking, who were not stopped by crazy odds, and built a life and a family here in the USA. I went on this part of the ‪#‎3DRV journey with my family because I thought it would be important to talk about freedom, persistence, resilience, love, with my son, to talk about what others sacrificed for me (and perhaps for you with your family whether or not they passed through Ellis Island). I did not want to miss the opportunity to talk with him about the power of a dream, of a better life, of a better future.

I found myself amazed and emotional at this place. Millions of people have made migrations for the sake of their children, their spouses, their friends. I found myself touching the bricks on the floor, the wall tiles, and the benches where others sat as they waited, patiently, expectantly, for freedom. It is a beautiful thing, this freedom, that we have and that we offer to others.

What does this have to do with 3D? I wish I could have gotten permission to laser scan the facility and to do detailed photo scans of various artifacts. It is one of those places that represents a national treasure and thankfully, there are other dedicated preservation teams around the USA, attempting to capture and preserve these remarkable places that have a place in our hearts, our minds, our ethos. I hope the same for other cultures and nations that want to digitally preserve their important landmarks. In a post to come, I’ll profile Lori Collins and her “digital preservation” team from the University of South Florida. 3D makes it possible to preserve for today and for the future.

The best example I can share of this important type of work, digital preservation and more, is in a TEDx talk from Tatjana Dzambazova, “Technology Whisperer” at Autodesk:

Follow along at! #3DRV

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