Title:The Digital Darwins Project
Authors:Charles Calvo, Carl Hansen, Alfred Rosenberger
Publication:MW97: Museums and the Web 1997

The Digital Darwins Web site is a pilot project to demonstrate 1) the application of 3-D modeling and visualization to the study of museum objects, and 2) the viability of the Internet as a delivery medium for virtual museum material. The Digital Darwins concept envisions the electronic delivery of museum objects to K-12 classrooms around the country, and the provision of those classrooms with the hardware and software tools to enable students to create their own digital models of specimens from their local environments to comparison and interaction with the museum material. Thus students may truly become scientists and researchers, and classrooms may become museums. The Digital Darwins project is an interdisciplinary effort conducted jointly with the BioVisualization of the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Alfie Rosenberger, Director. Charles Calvo, acting as Director of the S/ARC Digital Research and Imaging Lab (DRIL) supervised two undergraduate students during the month of July, 1996 to produce the Web site to coincide with the Smithsonian's 150th anniversary. The site is the world's first three-dimensional Natural History Web site. The work represents a significant advance in the application of three-dimensional modeling and visualization to morphology and systematic biology, especially in areas such as feature identification, measurement and comparative study. And the work demonstrates the potential to create exciting, object based delivery of museum material to K-12 science classes via the Internet.