On January 29th 2004, 11 people lost their lives and 50 were wounded in a suicide bombing on Egged Bus 19 in Jerusalem, Israel. Since that tragic incident, the remains of Bus 19 have travelled around the world as a reminder of the horrors of terrorism. First stopping at The Hague for the International Court of Justice hearing regarding the Israeli West Bank barrier, the wreckage was then brought to the United States where it toured among various cities, college campuses, synagogues and churches.
The wreckage ended its journey at Camp Shoresh in Adamstown, Maryland under the care of Adam Edelman and The Bus 19 Project. The Bus 19 Project is a group dedicated to preserving the bus remnants as a peace memorial. Mr. Edelman has been fundraising and raising awareness for his project whose stated mission is to design and build a memorial garden and education pavilion to remember the 11 individuals who lost their lives and to educate the public on the terrible effects of global terrorism. The planned education center will be open to students, EMTs, government agencies and other scheduled tour groups.
As part of the memorial project, Edelman came to Direct Dimensions in early 2010 to speak with Direct Dimensions’ president Michael Raphael about how 3D laser scanning and 3D imaging might be used as part of Bus 19’s educational mission. Of course, Michael and Direct Dimensions were excited to tackle such a unique 3D scan while also helping a worthy cause. Scanning the complicated remains of the bus, with its twisted metal and exposed wiring, proved a somber but exciting challenge.
Michael and Direct Dimensions’ technician Dominic Albanese travelled to Adamstown, MD with a portable laser scanner to scan Bus 19 in its final resting place. They used the Surphaser HSX Spherical Laser scanner to digitally capture the entire bus in just a few hours. The Surphaser is a perfect scanner for a large and complex object like Bus 19 due to its ease of use and portability which allowed the bus to be scanned from multiple positions to rapidly obtain all the data for the final 3D modeling process. While onsite Albanese also captured the images required to make an interactive panoramic representation of the bus.
The data acquired from the scan, in the form of large point clouds, was digitally modeled using PolyWorks Modeler software. The initial deliverables to the Bus 19 Project were an interactive panoramic file and virtual 3D fly-through of Bus 19 in its proposed position in the memorial and education center.
While those two items can currently help Edelman raise awareness about his mission, it is just as important that wreckage of Bus 19 has been digitally documented in its current form. Until the funds are raised to build the memorial center, Bus 19 will remain in its current outdoor resting place, exposed to the elements. That captured data, which is perfect for visualizations and animations, can also be used in the future for recreations of the bus as it now exists, to help the architects design the memorial around the bus, or even for an engineering analysis of the best way to support and display the bus.
Now that Bus 19 has been digitally documented, it is possible to do almost anything with that 3D data: the possibilities are limitless.