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Digital on board: live demonstration of 3D acquisition of museum objects

Shaah Shahidh

Models of ships from the German Maritime Museum (DSM) / Leibniz Institute of Maritime History will soon be just a click away. The digitisation team has a new and exiting 3D application which it will test with visitors. During live demonstrations, guests can bring in their favourite objects and see them scanned.

An animated cog spilling out of a smartphone on a wave - Dr Isabella Hodgson from the DSM is delighted with the freshly printed poster motif advertising the new 3D application from the museum. Shortly after the launch of the CHANGE NOW! and INTO THE ICE exhibitions, the in-house digital application is ready to go. Ship models have been scanned and can be explored via mobile devices or on desktops. 'It was important to us that the app works as a web application. It doesn't have to be downloaded and of course it's free, so anyone can use it quickly and easily on a mobile device or on a desktop', Hodgson explains.

The digital curator coordinates the work of programmer Luca Junge and designer Dennis Hoffmann and looks proudly at her smartphone, where the FEHMARNBELT rocks in an animated sea. The detailed digital copy can be easily enlarged and rotated with the fingers. Those who select the round icons receive more information about the model's technical data, the original ship and its function. 'We have deliberately chosen ship models that illustrate very different functions: The CHALLENGER is a research ship, the FEHMARNBELT was a lightship and the H. H. MEIER was a sea rescue cruiser. The different types of ship enable us to show the different facets of shipping and to use them as examples to explain physical processes, aspects of navigation or safety," says Hodgson. Furthermore, visitory can explore a container ship, a historic passenger steamer and the equipment on the BESAN EWER ANNA.

She is curious to see how the visitors react to the application. The new digital experience brings the object close to the viewers. 'An app thrives on the ideas of the users, so we rely on the guests and their opinions', says Hodgson. She would like to see the app used in schools at a later date. Students and teachers can view the 3D models and develop new knowledge based on the information, which can also be stored in the app: 'In this way, new aspects on the subject of shipping are constantly being added'.

Before the app moves into the classroom, the digital team would like to present it to museum guests. On Saturday 26 March, Hodgson will give a talk at the Maritime Museum, from 5 to 6.30 pm, on how digitisation works . She will also show the app and demonstrate live digitisation. 'Anyone who wants to can bring an object 20 to 30 centimetres in size and get a digital image of it'. Further tours are planned for 8 and 22 May.

Live demonstration "From 3D scan to AR experience":
Saturday, 26 March, from 5 to 6.30 pm,
Sunday, 8 May, from 11 am to 12.30 pm,
Sunday, 22 May, from 1 to 2.30 p.m.
Participation is free, just book a time slot ticket at