Visit the MLK National Memorial in 3D

Note: This is a re-post from this past October, and is very appropriate for today (“Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” in the United States)

Not long after recreating the Stone Mountain sculpture in 3D, Peter Olsen decided to tackle the brand new Martin Luther King National Memorial, located in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. As you can see below, his model is amazingly detailed. Not only is the figure of MLK curved and detailed, but the text on the side of the statue is very clear and readable.

However, just like his Stone Mountain model, he found that it was difficult to piece together because some things simply weren’t adding up.

mlk.jpg

In his words:

When you read the literature on the “creation” of the monument, the sculpture consists of a “mountain” (The Mountain of Despair) from which a “stone” (the Stone of Hope) has been pushed. (See the write-up on the official web site) There is also an animation somewhere that I came across that shows the stone centre being pushed out from the middle of the mountain.

So based on that I built the central stone first, as per the above, and was then going to clone the central faces of the mountain from the sides of the stone. There is just one slight problem. Based on numerous photos if have studied, if you take the stone and push it back into the slot in the mountain it does not line up with the cutaway sides of the mountain.

The average person would never notice this anomaly. However, Peter takes great pride in building incredibly accurate models and little missteps like this can be frustrating.

In any case, he did an amazing job with the models. As you can see, he built all three sections of the memorial — the mountain, the model of MLK, and the memorial wall.

mlk-wide.jpg
To see it for yourself in Google Earth, simply fly there using this KML file.

As always, great work Peter!

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



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