Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco Exhibit: Lost and Found USS Arizona Exhibit


The Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco celebrates design — the process of taking a great idea and turning it into a reality. With about 60 different exhibits regularly on display that showcase the innovative work of Autodesk customers, the gallery illustrates the role technology plays in great design and engineering. Autodesk Gallery Ambassadors conduct gallery tours as a sideline to their day jobs. As I have mentioned many times before, we chose the job title "ambassador" instead of "docent," because the correct way to address an ambassador is "your excellency" yet this never happens.

Lost and Found is one of our most revered exhibits at the gallery in our One Market office in San Francisco.

This project regarding this exhibit was truly a team effort with many participants.


  • National Park Service — maintains the site as a memorial // more
  • HDR — engineering, architecture, environmental, and construction services // more
  • eTrac — professionally licensed land surveyors and certified hydrographers // more
  • Gilbane — global integrated construction and facility management services // more
  • Sam O. Hirota, Inc. — information services company providing civil engineering, land surveying, mapping, and GIS services // more
  • 3D at Depth — underwater data collection tools // more
  • R2Sonic — leading edge underwater acoustic products // more
  • Deep Ocean Engineering — leading manufacturer of sophisticated remotely operated vehicles // more
  • Oceanic Imaging Consultants — seafloor mapping software // more
  • Shark Marine Technologies — underwater photographic equipment // more
  • United States Coast Guard — ensure maritime safety and security // more
  • United States Navy Mobile Diving Salvage Unit One — underwater data collection // more
  • WhiteClouds — 3D printing in the cloud platform // more
  • Autodesk — employees, Pete Kelsey and Shaan Hurley directed the project and were part of the dive team to collect the data // more


It's a day our nation will always remember — December 7, 1941 — the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona memorial gets nearly 2 million visitors a year, but now people can experience the ship in a brand new way. Working with Autodesk, the National Park Service set out to create an unprecedented underwater scan of the vessel, combining:

  • laser scanning (the process of capturing digital information about the shape of an object with equipment that uses a laser to measure the distance between the scanner and the object)
  • subsea LiDAR (a detection system that works on the principle of radar but uses light from a laser)
  • SONAR (a system for the detection of objects under water by emitting sound pulses and detecting or measuring their return after being reflected)
  • photogrammetry (a system for creating 3D models from 2D photographs)

to create an incredibly accurate virtual model.

The wreckage of the USS Arizona still contains ~500,000 gallons of oil that are still slowly seeping out of the ship's submerged wreckage. Even 70 years after its demise, the Arizona continues to spill up to 9 quarts of oil into the harbor each day. Though the Nation Park Service wanted to determine the condition of the hull to determine the potential for a massive rupture that would result in environmental damage, the USS Arizona is also the grave site of sailors who perished on December 7. A total of 1,177 men died on board, the greatest death toll ever on a US warship. Only 229 bodies were recovered. 948 remain entombed in the wreckage. The non-invasive techniques applied allowed the National Park Service to assess the ship's condition without disturbing the sailors' remains.

With the dual goals of preservation and education, the project allows people to experience the Arizona through 3D-printed objects (not just the ship itself, but items aboard as well) and the scans themselves, which enable powerful interactive experiences. So now a day that will never be forgotten, has a new way to be remembered.




Thanks to the Autodesk Gallery team for the descriptive text for this blog post. For more information about the project, see Shaan Hurley's blog posts "USS Arizona in 3D Project Behind the Scenes" and "3D Prints of USS Arizona Artifacts".

The Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a guided tour on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm and a self-guided audio tour available anytime. Admission is free. Visit us.

Respectful remembrance is alive in the lab.