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The Idaho Virtualization Laboratory

The Idaho Virtualization Laboratory (IVL) is a research unit of the Idaho Museum of Natural History on the campus of Idaho State University. Our lab houses state-of-the-art technology for imaging, virtualization, and simulation of material items, landscapes, and life. we provide education, research, and informatics to the social and natural sciences.  

What we do

The equipment at the IVL is intended for digital archiving of valuable museum collections, materials from archaeological and paleontological excavations, faunal remains, and all other aspects of cultural and natural history. Many items housed in museum and teaching collections are perishable and easily damaged by repeated handling. The goal in creating digital archives of collections is to preserve the integrity of the specimens and provide alternative access to collections.

The IVL serves as a laboratory for applying 3d imaging to research, teaching, and outreach projects developed by scientists and educators. We openly encourage interdepartmental research, and have an open door policy to all scientific endeavors conducted by our colleagues here at Idaho State University, local and regional administrative agencies, and other academic institutions. We also provide digitization services to the greater community whenever required. 

The IVL’s near-term focus is on a number of interesting projects. These include a global effort to scan whale skeletons, and the Idaho Virtual Museum, where we will scan and put online much of the collection from the Idaho Museum of Natural History as part of an ongoing effort to deliver our collection to the people of Idaho.