GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 190-2
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


PERKINS, Dexter1, STENE, Noah1, SCHULTZ, Alyssa1, BENTLEY, Callan2 and HOLLISTER, Ryan J.3, (1)Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota, 81 Cornell Street Stop 8358, Grand Forks, ND 58202-8358, (2)Geology program, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, VA 22652, (3)Secondary Science Instructional Coach, Turlock Unified School District, 1600 East Canal Drive, Turlock, CA 95380

Rocks and Minerals is a digital photogrammetry database hosted by at The database contains nearly 300 3-dimensional models of rock and mineral specimens. These models, easily accessed via the web, are available for use by all educators. Many of our models are beautiful and captivating. They allow rotation and zoom-in capabilities, permitting specimens to be viewed down to a millimeter or smaller scale. Much of our initial work focused on museum-quality mineral and rock samples but we are now populating the database with more mundane specimens.

For standard models, we use a Canon EOS 24-megapixel camera and an 18-55 mm lens. 256 photos are stitched together using Agi PhotoScan software. A very fast computer and one or more high-end graphics cards are essential to avoid hours-long processing times. After much trial and error, we have successfully developed techniques that work for most specimens. Transparent and metallic samples pose problems that we have not yet completely solved.