Our mission is to create a database of 3D models of all Great Lakes shipwrecks that can be viewed by the public and professionals to study and enjoy these historical maritime sites in the region. The public can visit these sites from the comfort of their homes and appreciate the wealth of our maritime heritage preserved in the waters of our Great Lakes. Academics and professional resource managers will be able to quickly investigate these sites to evaluate potential historic significance of features of the sites. By periodically repeating the survey and modeling process they will be able to assess the risk of losing the data to natural site deterioration.
We appreciate the enormity of this task since there are over a thousand accessible shipwreck sites in the Great Lakes region. We are, however, not the only entity performing this function. The National Park Service, NOAA Sanctuary professionals, and Parks Canada Archaeologists are working independently to document sites within government entities. This still leaves hundreds if not a thousand sites undocumented. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society had stepped up to lead this program to document the rest of these shipwreck sites. We believe the Great Lakes diving community and shipwreck preservation organizations are capable and willing to step up to accomplish this task. There are hundreds of divers and photographers in our professional and recreational diving and maritime community that have the good will and potential to help with this mission. The skills and equipment needed to participate in this project are not enormous and can be reasonably acquired by anyone seriously interested in helping.
Our plan is to harness the good will of our diving and maritime community to “crowd source” the generation of the image data and support this effort with photographic guidelines and eventually training in how to best capture the images needed to create the models. We will also process the images to create the models and provide the archival resources to save the models, source images, and pertinent information in a responsible and secure digital database. Models will be available for viewing through our site and can be embedded in non-profit and commercial sites to promote responsible use of these historic sites. We can’t do this without your help. Please visit our “How to Participate” tab to see how you can help.