PBS’s recurring News Hour Programme has featured Bermuda’s shipwrecks for a second time during the Art and Culture segment.
The topic is The Bermuda 100 Challenge, which is a joint initiative between the Bermuda Government’s Marine Heritage Section of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Look Bermuda and University of California San Diego’s Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative [CHEI]. It sets out to document digital reconstructions of shipwreck sites and marine conservation areas using modern technologies.
The video’s description says, “The island of Bermuda has a rich history of shipwrecks dating back centuries. But instead of diving underwater to explore the cultural treasure, there’s a non-invasive yet still immersive solution for observing the past: 3D models and videos that allow researchers and amateurs to visit the sites from anywhere. Jeffrey Brown reports from San Diego in the second of our two-part series.”
PBS News Hour’s Senior Correspondent & Chief Arts Correspondent Jeffery Brown spent two days in San Diego with project PI Professor Falko Kuester at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology Virtual Engineering Labs and three days in Bermuda in February with local project PI and Custodian of Historic Wrecks Dr. Philippe Max Rouja.”
Mr. Brown was able to view the shipwrecks and artifacts in super resolution via virtual reality in San Diego and then experience them in person in Bermuda, demonstrating the promise of this new and developing technology.
Dr. Rouja said, “The aim of the Bermuda 100 project is to document 100 or more historic shipwrecks and distinct natural habitats in the waters surrounding Bermuda in order to enhance conservation efforts and open the sites to both real and ‘virtual’ tourism from interested students, researchers and travelers from around the world.
“Local divers, scientists and archaeologists are teaming with students and faculty from University of California San Diego’s [UCSD] Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative [CHEI] to document and disseminate digital reconstructions of shipwreck sites and marine conservation areas using modern technologies to collect, process, analyze, visualize and disseminate 3D data and visualizations from known shipwrecks and still-to-be-located remains.
“PBS News Hour has an average 1.1 million viewers nightly and therefore this filming presents an incredible opportunity for Bermuda to showcase this work to the world.”