Historical Preservation - Mid-Pacific Institute

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Historical Preservation

Scanned: Students at 'Iolani Palace's Coronation Pavilion

Posted on December 10, 2015 by Scot Allen

By Laura Davis

If you could select one artifact of Hawaiian culture to digitally preserve for all time, what would you choose?

Krislyn Miyagawa, a senior in Ms. Calabro's Historical Preservation class argued for the coronation pavilion (also called Keli'iponi Hale) at 'Iolani Palace because "it was built for the crowning of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani at a ceremony on February 12, 1883," and is the only former royal residence in the United States.

Please click here to view photos from the project.

The class agreed, deciding to digitally preserve the pavilion so that future generations can experience it virtually in a "fly through" even after the physical building naturally ages beyond repair. Spurred to action, students themselves made the necessary contacts at the Friends of 'Iolani Palace, the non-profit group that oversees the grounds, and arranged a field trip to scan the structure.

Students loaded a FARO scanner and several KOPPA spherical targets with them onto the excursion bus. They used LiDAR (Light, Detection and Ranging) technology to capture the coronation pavilion from all angles in order to create a three dimensional file.

"When we got there, we realized the pavilion was bigger than expected, so we had to change our scanning process," said Samantha Komiyama, a senior in the class. "We scanned at a higher resolution to get more detail to scan the top of the pavilion since it was so tall."

Junior Troy Owens felt he was becoming part of history. "It was really nice to be there because I got to stand in the pavilion where King Kalakaua was crowned," said Troy. "It felt really cool because I could picture how the coronation went in my head."

For the next few weeks students will use class time to process the scans by matching points in the large data constellation. Once the scans have been rendered, the class plans to donate the file to the Friends of 'Iolani Palace for use on their website.

"Overall, I believe our field trip has been one of the most successful ones so far as it was smooth, and we gained public attention" said Samantha, referring to the film crew from KHON2 which reported on the students' project. "I had a lot of fun speaking to people in English and Japanese, and making connections to hopefully create more collaborations in the near future."

This collaboration with the Friends of 'Iolani Palace is part of a growing trend at Mid-Pacific in which students are producing quality projects and research to benefit the local community.

"I could not be more thrilled that my students are doing work that is truly meaningful and valuable to the community around them," said Ms. Calabro. "Essentially, they [the students] are providing a professional service to members of the community. It is really powerful for students to realize that their work expands beyond the classroom walls and really means something to somebody, somewhere."

Do you have an idea for an artifact that is worthy of scanning? Visit the class website for ideas and email hcalabro@midpac.edu

Please click here to read about the project on Calabro's blog.