A team of archaeologists, scientists and oceanographers will soon be revisiting the wreck of the Titanic for further scientific discovery and documentation. The entire process will be shared in near real-time with the world via social media.
The mission, Expedition Titanic, is meant to not only preserve the iconic ship — disintegrating two and half miles beneath the sea — but also to expose the wreck site to the public for the first time.
It’s a scientific undertaking like no other, but one with a very modern twist that relies heavily on social media to share the mission with the world.
The video below briefly introduces the mission behind the expedition.
The Mission: Virtually Raise the Titanic
The digital journey is the result of a partnership between RMS Titanic, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Waitt Institute. The expert dive doesn’t officially kick off until August 22, but the site is live and should help build anticipation for the upcoming deep sea trek.
The Expedition Titanic launched late last night, and those curious about the research initiative can already use the interactive flash-based site to virtually dive down to the ocean floor and explore the ship’s remains for themselves.
At its core, Expedition Titanic is designed to give those at home a lens through which to see what the experts are seeing. After taking the 3D-animated journey down to the wreck site, visitors can explore the wreck site map, check out video and images that will be shared from the dive in near real time, and control a close-up 360 degree view of the equipment used for mapping the Titanic’s final resting place. There’s also informational tidbits scattered throughout the site, messages from team members and eventually a 3D model of the ship.
Chris Greco, vice president of digital at Premier Exhibitions, explains that Expedition Titanic aims to “capture the entire wreck site,” something that has never been done before. “We hope to create a site survey and archaeological map, which will help us create an archeological plan, and that would let us treat the Titanic the way you would the Pyramids or any of the wonders of the world,” he says.
Preservation Through Social Media
The technology being used to digitally preserve the ship’s remains is a mix of sonar and high-resolution optical video, 3DHD film and acoustic modeling. All this will be used to create a “rich photographic profile to virtually raise the Titanic for all to see and share,” according to Greco.
Once the expedition is underway, the team will rely heavily on Facebook and Twitter to update followers on their progress. Greco explains, “Twitter will offer a play-by-play, and Facebook will give a richer experience of the trip.”
The team also plans to leverage Flickr and YouTube for sharing the photos and videos captured. The Expedition Titanic site will also pull in relevant social media content to enrich and complete the site experience.
As a whole, Expedition Titanic is one that can best be described as fascinating. The vision behind the dive and the site has enormous potential.
“Titanic is a story that has touched everyone and we want to connect people to the story in a way that helps to share the emotional connection and passion that we have for Titanic,” Greco says.