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Tag: Malcolm Williamson

Sands of Science

“Watch what happens when I do this,” says Malcolm Williamson as he demonstrates a feature of the augmented reality sandbox in the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) at the University of Arkansas. Malcolm holds his hands a few feet above the sandy surface. A couple of seconds later, the color blue – created by visualization software and an overhead projector – appears on the sand. He’s making it rain. The sand isn’t actually blue, but neither is it orange, yellow and green – colors that also are cast onto the sand by the software and projector. The sandbox has become...

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Revealing the Secrets of Machu Picchu

Researchers in the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas have traveled around the world using their advanced remote sensing technology to provide a 3-D perspective of archaeological sites and historic structures. This month, PBS will air the second season of Time Scanners, a three-part documentary series featuring CAST experts using cutting-edge technology to reveal secrets about some of the world’s most iconic structures. Tonight’s episode focuses on the ancient mountain city of Machu Picchu in Peru. On Dec. 16 the series shifts to the Colosseum in Rome and Jerusalem on Dec. 23. All three shows are scheduled for...

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CAST: Capturing History in the Sweep of a Laser

Pictured above: CAST researchers Adam Barnes (from left), Katie Simon and Malcolm Williamson all participated in the documentary TV series Time Scanners. | Photo by Russell Cothren   Malcolm Williamson gingerly fastens the Leica ScanStation C10 to the top of a 5 ½ foot yellow tripod. He’s working in a computer lab down the hall from his office in the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas. “This is a survey-grade instrument and has to be handled as such,” says Williamson, one of the researchers at the center who use the laser scanner and other advanced remote...

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Petra Behind the Scenes

The researchers at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies learned last year that a lot goes on behind the scenes during the making of a documentary television show. The third episode of Time Scanners, to be broadcast this evening nationally on PBS, took the CAST researchers to Jordan to scan the ancient desert city of Petra. They were filmed used their scanning techniques to explore how Nabatean stonemasons carved Petra’s largest building – the Monastery – out of a mountainside more than 2,000 years ago. The researchers also used ground-penetrating radar to discover what lies underneath the city. All...

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Lasers, Camera, Action!

A year and a half ago, London-based television producer Lara Acastar contacted the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, seeking a technical expert for a new documentary series on ancient structures. It was a good match on paper. CAST has a reputation as one of the top research centers in the world in the field of geospatial imaging. Acastar’s company, Atlantic Productions, has made won numerous coveted awards, including several BAFTAs, Great Britain’s equivalent of our Emmys. The idea became a project and the project became a series. Time Scanners will air nationally on PBS on July 1, July 8...

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