Above is a trailer, if you will, for an extraordinary masterpiece in historical imaging technology. University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Imaging Research Center (IRC) has existed since 1987 with the goal of exploring and expanding the possibilities imaging technology. In a multi-disciplinarian collaboration with historians, geographers and cartographers, and thousands of IRC man-hours produced a program that allows one to view the fledgling Capital City and surrounding horizons for the first time with accurate topography and approximate buildings and farm lands, based on available sources, circa 1814. For those of you a little rusty on your American History, this means we get a view of the city as the British would have seen Washington DC when they set fire to the capital and the White House during the War of 1812.
This is the exciting kind of collaborative project perfect for the university community, but possible even if to a lesser extent at other stages of education. Not only does it offer students the opportunity to model professional collaboration–indeed, sometimes to participate in professional collaboration–it expands minds to what is possible in a multi-disciplinary approach. In other words, it is good for academic fields, professionals, students and institutions!