Davide TANASI | Michael DECKER | Kaitlyn KINGSLAND | Rebekah MCLAUGHLIN
(University of South Florida, Tampa, USA)

Keywords: 3d scanning, historical train, accessibility, 3d printing

The John and Mable Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida is home to the private train car of John Ringling: the Wisconsin. This unique train car served as the home for John Ringling during his frequent journeys around the United States where he would book the circus and buy new acts and equipment. In order to preserve the train car for the future as well as assist curators in 3D printing new train car parts that may need replacing, the University of South Florida’s Institute for Digital Exploration (USF IDEx), digitized the Wisconsin train car in the Spring of 2018, using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) which is accurate up to less than a millimeter and took two days to perform 60 laser scans. The completed digital model was uploaded to the 3D model sharing website, Sketchfab, for dissemination to the public, providing access to the interior of the car which is currently closed to museum visitors. Individuals can view the Wisconsin in virtual reality both on the Sketchfab website as well as via other virtual reality softwares, allowing the exploration of the train car from anywhere in the world, while providing accuracy to researchers to explore and understand the Ringling’s life and legacy. With technology that supports virtual reality becoming more common, individuals have increasing access to view and explore the Wisconsin as if they were present at the Ringling Museum.

Relevance for the conference: The subject of the contribution is a unique vehicle representing a piece of Florida history which is hardly accessible and digitally underrepresented.
Relevance for the session: Being a 1896 train car, the Winscosin does not seem at first glance to deserve the status of Cultural Heritage, but its owner, John Ringling was certain a relevant historical figure for early America. The contribution will argue about the definition of Cultural Heritage in the case of the Wisconsin train car.
Innovation: The innovation relies in the design of a protocol for 3d digitization and global digital dissemination of historical vehicle
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