Enjoy 3D views of abandoned South Georgia whaling station on new stamps


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04 April 2019
A century-old commercial whaling station that had fallen prey to the ravages of time before being scanned using the latest laser technology is the focus of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands' new stamp issue.

3D Grytviken comprises four stamps showing 3D datasets that can be viewed by red-cyan anaglyph glasses (which can be bought with the stamps).

Whaling in South Georgia

100 years ago, commercial whaling came to South Georgia. Carl Larsen pioneered shore based facilities to process their catch and for years, industry thrived and whaling stations grew from a cluster of a few buildings to small towns housing hundreds of workers complete with factories, accommodation, cinemas, sports facilities, cemeteries and churches.


Sadly, after only a few decades, the numbers of whales dwindled and the demand for the products made from them dropped off. By the mid-1900s the whaling stations had largely fallen silent. Over the subsequent years, the sub-Antarctic climate slowly broke down the stations.


Capturing the past

The Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands along with the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage commissioned New Zealand company, Geometria, to carry out ground breaking work. Geometria used LIDAR or laser scanning technology along with photogrammetry and drone footage to systematically map the stations inside and out.


The laser scanning was achieved by setting up tripod-mounted laser arrays within the whaling stations and then by taking distance measurements in all directions. This meant they were able to capture the 3D surface of the buildings and landscapes in great detail.


The stamps


The incredible data from the laser scans is vital to facilitate better long-term understanding and management of the whaling stations and help tell the story of the whaling station's history.


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The stamps included in this set show some examples of the 3D datasets, presented in anaglyph 3D.  To view these stamps in 3D, red-cyan anaglyph glasses are required. The stamps are: 70p Grytviken Church, 80p Shackleton's Grave, £1.05 wreck of the Petrel,  £1.85 harpoon gun.


Issue date: 10 May 2019

Design: Bee Design

3D images: Geometria Ltd

Printer: Cartor 

Print process: Stochastic lithography

Perforations: 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size: 31.5 x 48mm


To buy the stamps, visit Pobjoy.


QUICK LINK: How to value your stamps


(image copyright Pobjoy Mint)