Northeastern Section - 50th Annual Meeting (23–25 March 2015)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


LORANGE, Jacqueline, HYATT, James A. and METCALF, Meredith J., Environmental Earth Science Department, Eastern Connecticut State University, 83 Windham Street, Willimantic, CT 06226,

This study utilizes high resolution imagery, terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) survey data, 3-Dimensional printing, and geospatial computing to build educational resources that examine tracksites at Dinosaur State Park (DSP) in Rocky Hill, CT. DSP attracts K-16 school groups who view over ≈ 600 Dilophosaurus tracks in Jurassic sandstone. Young school groups make casts of individual tracks, middle and high school students discuss the characteristics of the tracks and track makers, and university classes relate the trace fossils to ancient environments. Data sets described below will augment these activities by preparing high resolution image maps, scaled 3-D models, and Geographic Information System (GIS) databases that merge survey data with images of the tracks.

Data sets were developed from TLS survey data and digital imagery collected from both the main (≈180 m2) and small (≈70 m2) tracksite at DSP. Scanner data were collected with a Trimble VX Spatial Station, resulting in ≈650,000 survey points with point spacing of <0.5 cm to ≈3.5 cm. Digital images were captured obliquely with the VX and vertically with a Nikon D600 full frame camera mounted on a 25-foot pole. Visible markers surveyed prior to pole photography facilitated image registration. Survey point clouds were refined and used to create triangulated mesh surfaces. These surfaces were textured with images from the VX and the DSLR in order to produce photo-realistic computer models. To create the image map, pole photographs were initially improved in Adobe Lightroom and aligned in Adobe Photoshop. Image masks were then adjusted to remove imperfections prior to stitching a clean, seamless image for each tracksite. ArcGIS was used to register stitched images and scanner data into UTM space. The stitched images were draped onto to the point cloud to create an accurate image map representation of the tracksite. Survey data were also used to build physical models of selected tracks by 3-D printing. Selected survey clouds are converted to a mesh and exported as object (obj) files for manipulation in Rhinoceros 5 software. The output will be used to cast clay track sets for visiting school groups. These educational resources will be made available to DSP for use with future school groups.