Imagine you are out for a hike in the woods, and come across a pile of bones. Or perhaps you are a student of archaeology or forensic anthropology, and need a quick reference. Or a teacher in a K-12 classroom who desires to give students an interactive science lesson. Name that Bone! will be a bone identification app, allowing the public, students, scientists and professionals a quick and easy guide to compare a multitude of species, including H. sapiens and common North American animals.
Our app will utilize GIS technology, which allows us to create photogrammetry (combine photos and create a 3D image), for optimal identification. First, we will photograph each bone from multiple angles. Software will then allow us to perform the needed photogrammetric triangulation, create a dense point cloud, calculate measurements, and provide the 3d models. With this technology, we can create a highly accurate and extremely detailed image of the bones. The app will lead the user through a series of questions designed to rapidly assess type of bone and size, before providing a selection of photos which match the specified criteria. Additionally, users can browse photos by selecting species or bone type.
For students or amateurs interested in more in-depth studies, the app will also provide a list of additional sources and references. These photos will be taken from bones in our personal collections, and from collections at local institutions.
Why an app? Although multiple textbooks have been published with similarly detailed photos, these are often expensive. Providing an electronic version will allow participation of a much wider audience, as well as promote science. We anticipate our app finding an audience in public and private sectors, from classrooms to museums, and be used in a wide variety of settings.
We are also applying to Boulder, Plano, and San Antonio chapters in the hope that one of you will find our project as fascinating as we do!
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (February 2017)