3D project to record historic birthplace

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A transatlantic project will digitally document the homes of the Dunbar-born conservationist John Muir in 3D using cutting edge technology.

The announcement was made by First Minister Alex Salmond in New York during a visit to the United States where Muir is revered as an environmentalist and considered to be the founder of its national parks.

As people on both sides of the Atlantic celebrate the 175th anniversary of Muir’s birth in 2013, Mr Salmond said the conservationist’s birthplace in Dunbar and his home in Martinez, California, would be captured in virtual form in a new partnership to help promote his life and work in the Year of Natural Scotland.

The results of the digitalisation project - which is a partnership between Scottish Natural Heritage, Historic Scotland, the US National Park Service and CyArk Foundation - will be used to deepen the existing links between historic sites in Scotland and US by allowing visitors to undertake virtual tours and learn more about Muir’s life.

The First Minister also confirmed that the project would see apprentices from Historic Scotland create two carvings that will be placed at each location to symbolise the enduring link that Muir provides to both countries.

Mr Salmond said: “John Muir continues to be held in incredibly high regard by people on both sides of the Atlantic and it is entirely fitting that in 2013 we mark the 175th anniversary of his birth by strengthening the links between the country in which he was born and the country he chose to make his home.

“The project will help educate and inform people about how a boy from the small town of Dunbar on the east coast of Scotland crossed the Atlantic and rose to such prominence that he would feature on a US postal stamp and become considered to be the founder of the United States national parks.

“Using technology that has already been deployed to magnificent effect in the Scottish Ten initiative, the project will digitally scan Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar and his home in California, and the resulting 3D images will allow visitors to either side to tour the other and learn more about John Muir’s fascinating journey. During his incredible career, Scottish-born Muir worked tirelessly to preserve the magnificent landscapes of his new home in the United States for future generations.”