Title:Revelation: Pioneering International Education Using Hominid Remains and High-Fidelity Digital Models
Authors:Jim Devine, Malcolm Atkinson
Publication:MW98: Museums and the Web 1998

Revelation, a major new SHEFC funded initiative, will provide a high-performance network infrastructure at the University of Glasgow, providing high-capacity servers, enabling high-fidelity information transfer and sophisticated presentation systems at the forefront of technology. The Revelation platform will enable pioneering new models of communication, a quantum leap beyond the present Internet facilities, providing a leading edge resource for electronic publication, network technology and computer-assisted consultation, collaboration and distance learning. The first pilot project for Revelation is already under way. The Hunterian Museum with the Department of Computing Science are developing a fully interactive online course in Hominid Evolution for delivery to the UK schools science curriculum, and, with the collaboration of the Smithsonian Institution, the US/Canadian K-12 curriculum. Initially we employ QuickTime Virtual Reality and 3-D modelling techniques to present on screen rotational and morphing images of a range of hominid skulls in the Hunterian collections, and incorporating computer based techniques developed in the University's Department of Forensic Medicine, Facial Identification Centre, to reconstruct the facial features of a selection of these early hominids. We are developing multi-camera photogrammetric techniques to enable rapid and economic capture of 3-D models precise enough for diagnostic measurement. The repository will be organised to hold a wide range of source data and individual progress data concerning interpretation of 3-D rendered models. The interface for students and teachers will allow access and analysis of this data. We will explore how best to organise and guide their use of this information and to enable efficient support of remote learners in groups as well as individual use. This depends heavily on Java to avoid requirements for sophisticated computing skills in our users and the schools.