Queen's University

Queen's students digitize dinosaur bones

 
2012-09-07

Queen’s University professor David Rappaport (School of Computing) and a group of post-doctoral, masters and undergrad students have developed new software designed to assist in storing, archiving, distributing and manipulating digitized dinosaur bones.

The Queen’s team delivered customized software to perform mesh compression of 3D images of a collection of museum exhibits, primarily dinosaur bones, acquired by Research Casting International (RCI), one of the world’s largest providers of dinosaur specimen exhibits.

“We are providing the compression software that helps RCI staff improve the way they do business,” says Dr. Rappaport. “Queen’s software also allows them to clean up artifacts that arise from the scanning process, patch holes in the 3D data and reduce the large files to a manageable size for storage and distribution.”

One challenge for RCI was transmitting extremely large data files electronically and Queen’s computer expertise provided the tools they need to do this. The custom software has improved the way RCI does business.

The project received a $50,000 grant from FedDev Ontario’s Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative, a government fund focused on driving economic and community development. The funding was used to hire Queen’s students for the project. Trenton-based RCI has also received $62,200 from National Research Council, Industrial Research Assistance Program to hire three more Queen’s students for continuing this initiative.

“This project has increased our engagement with, and our impact in, the region,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research) at Queen’s. “Queen’s is committed to stimulating economic development by working with innovative companies, such as RCI, to bring their ideas to market in support of their global competitiveness.”

Queen’s students involved in the project include Svetlana Stolpner, Junjie Zhu, Myles Nicholson, John Howat and Junhui Long.

“Working on the FedDev project was a wonderful experience,” says Mr. Zhu. “Seeing results derived from a scholarly publication transferred into a new software product that is used daily inspires me to continue looking for ways to turn my knowledge into new ideas and products.”

Learn more about the project here.

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