Let’s say you’ve got a computer you need to backup. Easy, right? You simply download StorageCraft ShadowProtect, schedule your backups and you’re done. Piece of cake. But what happens when you’re trying to save something that’s a little bit bigger than a computer like, say, a building? How does one create a backup of a building?
Well, most modern buildings are designed with software, so any new buildings are likely backed up along with every other piece of data on the computer that was used to design it. The problem is that a lot of our most celebrated structures were built hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. If something should happen (earthquake, war, alien attack, etc.) our one-of-a-kind structures and monuments would be gone forever.
But we’re in luck. A non-profit organization called CyArk has undergone the task of taking digital backups of all our esteemed historical sites and monuments. According to their about page, CyArk operates internationally “with the mission of using new technologies to create a free, 3D online library of the world’s cultural heritage sites before they are lost to natural disasters, destroyed by human aggression or ravaged by the passage of time.” Using 3D laser scanners, radar, and a host of other technologies, CyArk is able to create maps of famous monuments like Mount Rushmore and the Leaning Tower of Pisa with an incredible level of precision. Characteristics of up to a millimeter can be made visible through their detailed mapping.
Once these maps are created, CyArk uses them to create a number of different interactive archives which feature everything from photos to videos to 3D images and even full virtual tours. The digital records themselves are kept in CyArk’s archive with backup copies in Iron Mountain’s underground archiving facility in Pennsylvania, where they can be kept perpetually.
It’s really neat to look at some of these interactive archives, but even neater to know that at least on a certain level all of our historical sites and monuments are steadily being scanned and recorded so that the forces that might act on them can’t destroy completely. Any of them could feasibly be repaired following damage, or even rebuilt to the exact specifications as the originals. With any luck, none of our historical sites and monuments will go undocumented and will never be forgotten.