Technology Creates Interpretive View of the Pluckemin Cantonment
and the Lost Pluckemin Artillery Park
The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House announced the release of the 3D Visualization of the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment, the lost 1778-1779 winter cantonment of General Henry Knox's artillery in Pluckemin, New Jersey. While no buildings survive on the site except General Knox's Headquarters at the Jacobus Vanderveer House, significant archeological work and other historical records permitted the creation of the first of its kind 3D virtual renderings of the buildings and area that made up the cantonment.
This 3D visualization is an interpretive guide for visitors who now can come to General Knox's Headquarters at the Jacobus Vanderveer House Museum and understand the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment's importance to American Revolutionary War history. "This is where technology interprets data and provides a visual experience into one of America's most significant lost revolutionary war treasures,' noted Brooks Betz, Board member of the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House.
Funded by a grant provided by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission (SCCHC) (Click Here to Learn More about the Grant), the virtual concept came out of discussions on how to best create a representation of the lost Pluckemin Artillery Park and the Pluckemin Cantonment, based on the understanding that the model will change as additional data and analysis continues. "We think this is the best way to take the information we have at this time, and best represent a model of the cantonment", noted Leslie Mole, President of the Friends of JVH. "Why spend money on a physical model when we know that the details of the cantonment will change as the research continues." Ms. Mole is referring to the continuing historic research that has been commissioned to various professional, educational, and historical organizations around the state and country.
Dr. John Seidel, Director at Washington College in Maryland has been involved with the Pluckemin area for decades as he was a founding member of the Pluckemin Artillery Project (known as the PAP) since it's inception back in the 1960's. The 3D team was comprised of other scholars, archeologists, students, and technologists that all assisted to bring the effort to life.
The Center for Environment and Society at Washington College created the 3D visualization of the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment using Google Sketch-Up, Google Earth, ArcGIS, and GeoWeb3D. In addition to the Google Earth 3D renderings, Washington College also utilized ArcGIS and GeoWeb3d to create detailed flyovers of the site which is viewable as digital animated movie to visualize the context of the site and the surrounding area. These animated movies will also be viewable over the Internet. Dr. John Seidel, Director and Stewart Bruce, GIS Program Coordinator at the Center for Environment and Society at Washington College lead the effort.
The official name of the Pluckemin Cantonment to the National Historic register: Pluckemin Continental Army Artillery Cantonment" including the Pluckemin Artillery Academy which was designated officially on the National Register of Historic Places.
A "cantonment is "a group of building constructed primarily for the purpose of housing troops"; the term camp or "encampment" refers to troops quartered in their regimental or brigade lines. So you can decide for yourself if Pluckemin is an encampment or cantonment.
The preliminary 3D visualization you see is also only the first phase of the the project and will serve as a guide for more detailed 3D visualization that is in discussion.
For additional information:
Submitted: July 8, 2012
Submitted by: Brooks Betz
Last Revised: July 8, 2012
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