The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has opened its Virtual Archaeology Museum which displays video, detailed 3D models and mosaic maps of shipwrecks from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The historic shipwrecks were discovered by BOEM through underwater research and oil and gas exploration. With technological advances in remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and underwater videography, highly detailed surveys of these shipwrecks are now possible, and computer technology has reached the point where photo-real and hyper-accurate 3D models can be created from two-dimensional imagery.
Professional and amateur scientists will have the ability to monitor the shipwrecks over time, gauging changes to the shipwrecks and their artifacts, as well as observing the various aquatic species that inhabit the area.
The BOEM Virtual Archaeology Museum can be accessed at https://www.boem.gov/Virtual-Archaeology-Museum/.