- Ben Kacyra and Jerry Dimsdale invented the first commercial laser scanner.
- Their company Cyrax was sold to Leica Geosystems, and Ben founded CyArk – the leading cultural heritage organization in the world.
- Doug Pritchard is hosting Digital Documentation 2009, April 22 and 23 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Perhaps the most socially beneficial use of laser scanning involves the preservation of important cultural heritage sites around the world. One of the leaders in this field is Ben Kacyra. For those of you who might not know, many think of Ben as the “father of laser scanning”. He and Jerry Dimsdale founded Cyrax to bring to market the first commercial laser scanner, which they had invented and patented in 1998. I was told by one of the early Cyrax employees that the first power supply was mounted on a pallet that required a fork lift to move!
Cyrax was eventually sold to Leica Geosystems early in this decade. Ben has gone on to his next venture, the non-profit, CyArk organization. CyArk is all about “digitally preserving and sharing the world’s cultural heritage.” As part of this effort Ben’s group has been pushing the envelope of large file data storage/retrieval, visualization and content delivery via the web. I strongly encourage those not familiar with Ben and CyArk to consider supporting this effort in whatever way you can. It is one way for all of us to give something back to our industry.
Another key player in this field is Doug Pritchard. Doug is the head of the Digital Design Studio at the Glasgow School of Art. He is organizing the Digital Documentation 2009 conference in Glasgow, Scotland. This 2nd annual conference will be held on April 22 and 23. Doug has built one of the most impressive 3D city models on the planet.
More on the work Doug is doing in a later post.