Drone used to aid 3D remake of Japanese internment camp

Combined Shape

A University of Denver team is using drone images to create a 3D reconstruction of a World War II-era Japanese internment camp in southern Colorado, joining a growing movement to restore U.S. historical sites linked to people of color.

Researchers last week dispatched the drone from the Switzerland-based company senseFly as part of a mapping project to help future restoration work at Camp Amache in Granada, Colorado.

The senseFly eBee X drone flew over the 1-square-mile (1.6-square-kilometers) site and took more than 4,000 images as part of a project to document where barracks, schools and other buildings once stood, said Adam Zylka, the senseFly pilot who flew the drone.

Currently, the site only contains concrete foundations, artifacts, a handful of restored buildings and a cemetery of internees who died at the camp.

But Zylka said researchers can use the information gathered by the drone to create virtual reality and augmented reality apps so that visitors can experience what life was like at the internment camp with almost precisely reconstructed images.

Trending:
Here's Who Qualifies for Government to Pay for Their Internet

“This is a game changer,” Jim Casey, geographic information system specialist with the University of Denver who has been working to create digital maps of Amache. “You could be standing at the site, looking at nothing for sagebrush and weeds. Then, you can point your smartphone at the view and see what was once there.”

Casey said people who cannot go to the isolated location around 230 miles (370 kilometers) southeast of Denver will be able to visit the site virtually after researchers process the new drone data.

From 1942 to 1945, more than 7,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese immigrants were forcibly relocated to Camp Amache. They were among the more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans ordered to camps in California, Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Arkansas, New Mexico and other sites.

Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, forced Japanese-Americans, regardless of loyalty or citizenship, to leave the West Coast and other areas for the camps surrounded by barbed wire and military police. Half of those detainees were children.

At Amache, internees lived in an area next to poor Mexican-American farm workers. They produced a newspaper, tried farming and formed football and baseball teams.

Casey said the recreation of the camp is important for the U.S. to come to terms with this dark period in history.

“Children and grandchildren of internees also are trying to learn about what their parents went through,” he said. “That’s because they rarely talked about it.”

The Amache drone project is the latest example of preservation advocates working to save and restore historical sites connected to black, Latino and Asian American history.

A digital project headed up by Brown University professor Monica Martinez seeks to locate sites connected to racial violence along the Texas border with Mexico. Some of the sites she and other researchers have identified have resulted in historic markers documenting acts of violence against Mexican Americans from 1900 to 1930.

Related:
Texas Passes Fetal Heartbeat Bill with 1st-of-Its-Kind Provision to 'Hold Abortionists Accountable'

Advocates also are working to restore the birthplace of civil rights leader Dolores Huerta in Dawson, New Mexico. The old mining community in northern New Mexico is now a ghost town and there is no marker commemorating Huerta’s connection to the area.

___

Russell Contreras is a member of The Associated Press’ race and ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

___

This version corrects in the 1st paragraph that the movement is to protect historical sites, not a historical site.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Combined Shape
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation