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Through A Scanner, Anaheim

by CosmoWenman, published

Through A Scanner, Anaheim by CosmoWenman Aug 1, 2012

Description

In response to Thingiverse's Capture Your Town challenge, I've captured several locations in Anaheim; "my town", broadly speaking, being Southern California.

These are significant locations here right now, for horrible reasons:

The first 3D photoscan is of an ephemeral memorial marking the location where Manuel Diaz was shot to death by Anaheim police on July 21, 2012, at 704 North Anna Drive.

This memorial is a public display - those signs are there to be read, and to call attention to the physical place where this event happened - but if I had felt even the slightest cue from anyone in the area that I was intruding or unwelcome, I would have left without photographing anything. When I asked permission, a resident of the building waved me into the gated yard so I could photograph the area behind the fence where Diaz died, handcuffed, face down in the grass.

As I was photographing, there was a birthday party with children playing in a bouncy house 40 feet away. (You can just barely see it in the next scan.) Eventually this spot will be reclaimed by children at play too; the memorial won't last forever, and this photoscan, crude and ethereal as it is, may prove more permanent.

The second photoscan is of the spot about 250 feet away, at the corner of North Anna Drive and La Palma, where the residents who had immediately gathered were backed up against the intersection.

Here, a few hours later, the police met them with "less-than-lethal" small arms fire fired directly into the small crowd of unarmed men, women, and children. A police dog was released into the crowd here too. However poorly rendered in my scan, it's a real place.

The third photoscan is of Anaheim City Hall, where an overflow City Council meeting spilled into the streets, and where police opened up with more "less-than-lethal" fire on citizens, including credentialed, mainstream media journalists.

The fourth photoscan is of the Anaheim Police Department. As I was photographing, a truck cruised by slowly, holding up traffic behind them. Two women leaned out of the truck to shout taunts at the police building. There was raw disgust and contempt in their voices - it'd be hard to describe, other than that they were focused. There were no police in sight - they were shouting at the building and what it symbolizes to them; people vest a lot in "things", as users of this site surely know. Barricades have been erected, police in camouflage military uniforms now stand guard, and news vans wait for chaos.

The fifth scan: a church. As I was leaving, trucks pulled into the parking lot of the Iglesia Ni Cristo directly across the street from the police department. Workers began boarding up the church windows in anticipation of what may be coming to this particular corner of "my town".

-Cosmo Wenman


All my photos were taken in the afternoon of July 28, 2012.

Ideally, the memorial, memorial detail, and street corner meshes would be merged into a single model, as they are nearly contiguous areas.

From many news reports, you would think that the residents convened a protest, foolishly bringing their kids along. Instead, seeing how close these places are to each other, you can see that the events came to them, where they live. Unfortunately I was not able to get the software to model these spaces into a single scene. The police department and church should be merged as well, as those are a single space.

There are a couple ways to view these crude, unedited (and error-filled) 3D photoscans:

  • If your computer has an OpenGL enabled graphics card, download and install Autodesk's free "123D Catch" application. Then download the ".3dp" files listed at left on this page, and open them in the "Catch" application. You'll be able to pan and zoom in and around the scans from all angles.

  • If you have a 3D editing application, use the Catch program to open the .3dp files, then export .obj files and their associated texture files.

  • I've uploaded a few of my photos, including close-ups of several of the signs at the memorial, which were included in the memorial scan at lower resolution.

  • Or, I've made a short video panning around the rendered scenes here: http://youtu.be/gejvjGY2f9U

    If for whatever reason you wanted to print any of these, the memorial detail of the crucifix may not be too far from print-ready. The others would take a lot of editing.


    More information on why these are significant places worth documenting in any media that might help convey their physicality:

Disturbing, anonymous video of the shooting's immediate aftermath, at what is now the memorial site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIwjUQYnWMM

Disturbing newscast, with video of the street corner mayhem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZV3iyMz470

An account from the children who live and play there, right next to the memorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xe3BmM5fZM

City Hall, police, journalists: http://bit.ly/PK1v0B


Tech-related observations:

  • While I was photographing, I met someone who's been walking around the neighborhood for a week, broadcasting a live and semi-live video stream from a DIY rig consisting of a smartphone, a steadycam mount, and 48 hours of continuous-use battery life. He's broadcasting via Ustream under "CrossXbones" here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/crossxbones

  • Here's someone else - "Timcast" - doing the same thing, broadcasting - untethered - a semi-live telepresence: http://www.ustream.tv/user/Timcast
    Here's Timcast experimenting with a home-brew streaming-video aerial surveillance drone late last year: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/18980007

  • Seeing all the news vans, with their antenna masts extended thirty feet in the air, it occurred to me that they're probably just a few hundred dollars' worth of equipment upgrades away from being able to broadcast a live 3D map of their locations. Maybe just two webcams on the masts, offset for stereoscopic capture. Two or more stationary vans synchronizing continuous mast-cam feeds could produce a stream that could be sliced and stitched into a detailed, navigable, real-time 3D environment.

-Cosmo

cosmowenman.com
twitter.com/CosmoWenman
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