The Smithsonian embraces digital technology to make its collections more accessible to the world. Through the work of a talented Digitization Program Office team led by Günter Waibel, Vincent Rossi and Adam Metallo, people the world over can see iconic Smithsonian artifacts online at 3d.si.edu, and can also rotate them to view their every angle or print them out in 3-d and hold them in their hands. Online visitors will find objects in the Smithsonian X 3D Collection that have been laser-scanned with painstaking care to yield perfect detail; they can get a close-up view of the Wright Flyer engine or the pistil and stamens of a fragile orchid.
Vincent Rossi hails from the great state of New Jersey. He has a BFA in sculpture from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and Graduate level fine art study at Goldsmiths College/ University of London, England. From 2004 to 2011, he worked as a sculptor, model maker and project manager for the Smithsonian's Office of Exhibit Central and helped produce and manage many Smithsonian exhibits.
In 2011, Smithsonian paleontologists heard rumors of a large number of marine fossils while working in the Atacama Region of Chile. This site, Cerro Ballena, or “whale hill” in Spanish, contained the skeletons of more than 40 whales and other marine mammals.