Idaho Virtualization Laboratory

Virtual Museum of Idaho

Surface scan of a helicoprion, IMNH-37899, known worldwide as ‘Idaho number 4’ and a reconstructed tooth whorl.

When the digital age entered the twenty-first century, the coupling of incredible advancements in interactive technology and a global exchange of ideas created a system where comprehensive access to information has become the new paradigm for the dissemination and consumption of knowledge. Natural history collections hold vast amounts of this knowledge, yet due to the generally perishable nature of museum collections they are often found in forms not appropriate for open, unfettered examination. Through the creation of virtual repositories complete with built–in analytical tools, the IVL team are developing methods for safely distributing this wealth of information in order to both service an ever increasing need for access to it and, ultimately, stay relevant in this dynamic and rapidly expanding information age.

From paleontological specimens, extant osteological comparative material, thousands of samples of Idaho’s unique flora, and beautiful ethnographic collections, the Idaho Museum of Natural History houses exceptional assemblages representing many facets of Idaho’s natural and cultural history. Individually, these items are a valuable resource yet each holds only a small snapshot of a much larger complex picture of Idaho’s rich heritage. As a continuation of explorative, interactive web applications such as VZAP, the next several years of work will include a focus on bringing all of these collections online into a single open access repository in the form of a Virtual Museum of Idaho.


Virtual Idaho Archaeology

Virtual Zooarchaeology of Idaho

Virtual Paleontology of Idaho