The Digital Quarry Project

Dan Chure, Dinosaur National Monument Paleontologist, has always dreamt of making Carnegie Quarry a quarry for the world — a Digital Quarry viewable anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.

The Carnegie Quarry has a long history of excavation, scientific study, and public education, and  a tremendous archival, written, and photographic record exists for it. However, much of that record has not appeared in print and remains generally unknown, even in the scientific community. Given this tremendous resource, the obvious question is how can all this be made readily available to anyone curious about the quarry and its ancient denizens.  In the past the only solution would have been to write a book about it. But such a book, even if immense, could never be complete and include all relevant information.  However, the web allows for the creation of a site accessible to anyone and readily altered and updated as new information becomes available.  This on-going project is being conducted in stages:

Stage 1:  High-resolution documentation of the modern and its bones

1. 2013.  A photogrammetric composite photo of the quarry and its bones was done by Brigham Young University.  This would serve as the basis for future digital mapping.

2. 2013.  VIPs Ron and Beth Shugan work on digitizing the important Beidelmann Administrative Report and shooting some 5000 photos of bones taken off the quarry wall but in the museum collections at Dinosaur National Monument.

3. 2014. Ben Otoo and Nicole Ridgwell, summer  Geoscientist-in-the-Parks/ GeoCorps of America Interns, took approximately Over 4000 photos of specimens presently exposed in the cliff face.

Stage 2: Digitizing maps

1. 2013- Brigham Young University digitizes 13-foot long historic quarry map.  

2. 2014- Ben Otoo, summer  Using digital maps from Stage 1, Geoscientist-in-the-Parks/GeoCorps of America Intern, creates vector-based maps of all bones on the present day quarry  and on the historic quarry map.  Brigham Young University loans Dinosaur the necessary digitizing pads and computers to do this work. This crucial a step, as these digital maps became the infrastructure for the Digital Quarry Project website.

Stage 3: Building the Digital Quarry 2015

1. Digitization over 1,000 archival documents regarding the modern and historic Carnegie Quarry

2. In addition, a demo version of Digital Quarry Project website was designed and created with infrastructure in place that will allow the site to be continually expanded and added to.

3. Documents and photos from step A were uploaded to website, and numerous sections on species, quarry history, people who worked at the quarry, etc. were written and uploaded. An interactive section of the present day quarry was uploaded allowing users to explore the fossils in the central part of the Modern Quarry.

Steps 1, 2 and 3 were done by 2015 Geoscientist-in-the-Parks/ GeoCorps of America Interns Thea Kinyon Boodhoo, Trinity Stirling, and Elliott Smith and Mosaics-in-the-Parks intern Marie Jimenez.

Stage 4: Launching of the beta Carnegie Quarry site in October 2015.
Stage 5: Continual digitization of archival material and data entry by BYU, winter 2015-2016.
Stage 6: Expanding the Digital Quarry to include interactive features for the Historic Carnegie Quarry too.

As an open science, open source initiative, all fossil data and many of the records and images on this website are licensed in the public domain. However, not everything has the same license, so please check for license information in the caption or metadata before use. Dinosaur National Monument mural artwork, including the full-color illustrations of dinosaurs and other animals, is owned by the National Park Service and may be used freely for non-commercial purposes with the credit: "NPS Artwork by Bob Walters and Tess Kissinger."

For fossil fans who code or design, there are also a number of ways to be a part of the Digital Quarry Project. To contribute, visit our GitHub project page.