Scans Of Forth Bridges Used To Design Games To Boost Stem Skills

3 January 2017, 12:26 | Updated: 3 January 2017, 12:39

Forth Bridges - 3D Scanning - January 2017


3D scans of the Forth bridges are to be used to encourage more children into engineering through interactive games.

A £300,000 scanning project started in 2015 has amassed billions of images showing different dimensions of the Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge and the partially-built Queensferry Crossing.

Now a Transport Scotland grant of £425,000 is to be used to develop learning games, augmented reality apps and interactive models for virtual headset tours, all aimed at developing Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills among Scottish school pupils.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: "The Forth Bridges represent Scotland's industrial past, creative present and our dynamic and innovative future. They are the pinnacle of world-leading design and engineering and it's right that we conserve and protect them and also seek to inspire and educate the young engineers of the future.

"If the bridges are a globally unique showcase of Scotland's world-class engineering skills, this amazing 3D scanning project also showcases the world-leading design, research and innovation in our higher education institutions.

"The possibilities for this comprehensive digital data are almost endless. It allows the production of detailed information and tools for conservation, educational resources, improving accessibility and delivering virtual records to help health and safety training as well as promoting tourism.''

The laser scanning was carried out on foot, from ropes, vehicles and boats by the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV), a partnership between The Glasgow School of Art and Historic Environment Scotland.

The team had previously carried out similar work on the Sydney Opera House and Mount Rushmore in the US.

Animations of the bridges which will form part of the 2018 education resource have already been released.

Alastair Rawlinson, head of data acquisition at The Glasgow School of Art, said: "Laser scanning each of the three bridges has posed unique challenges for our team.

"We have had to use our combined experience, gained through digitally documenting globally iconic structures such as the Sydney Opera House and Mount Rushmore, to create innovative methodologies to allow us to capture these incredible bridges in great detail.

"We will now use this specialised 3D dataset to develop interactive learning resources based on advanced gaming technologies and virtual reality to make the information accessible to school children across Scotland and beyond.''