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published: March 2004
A Prototype Digital Library For 3D Collections: Tools To
Capture, Model, Analyze, And Query Complex 3D Data
The Partnership for Research in Spatial Modeling (PRISM) project at Arizona State University (ASU) developed modeling and analytic tools to respond to the limitations of two-dimensional (2D) data representations perceived by affiliated discipline scientists, and to take advantage of the enhanced capabilities of 3D data that raise the level of abstraction and add semantic value to 3D data. Three-dimensional data is complex, and application of modeling and analytic techniques significantly enhances the capacity for researchers to extract meaning from 3D information. The tool prototypes simplify analysis of surface and volume using curvature and topology to help researchers understand and interact with 3D data. The tools automatically extract information about features and regions of interest to researchers, calculate quantifiable, replicable metric data, and generate metadata about the object being studied. To make this information useful to researchers, the project developed prototype interactive, sketch-based interfaces that permit researchers to remotely search, identify and interact with the detailed, highly accurate 3D models of the objects. The results support comparative analysis of contextual and spatial information, and extend research about asymmetric man-made and natural objects that can significantly extend the interactive capabilities of museums for exhibitions, education, and outreach.