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TSYS School of Computer Science

Greater Columbus in 3D (4D)

A STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Project


  • Imagine you could visit Dr. John Stith Pemberton's pharmacy on 7th street in Columbus, GA in 1880 and discuss with him the formulation of Pemberton's French Wine Coca , the precursor of Coca-Cola
  • Or you could walk a few blocks to the Springer Opera House where you could perform Hamlet in 1875 with Edwin Booth along with actors from around the world
  • Join Ma Rainey in the choir at First African Baptist Church where you can help her discover the blues
  • Or experience the excitement of white-water rafting on the Chattahoochee River in modern Columbus, GA or experience as it would have been canoeing down the river with the Muscogee Indians in 1830
  • Imagine what your new manufacturing building would look like located in the Industrial Park in Taylor County
  • Imagine experiencing this in a “holodeck” at the CSU campus


All of these and much more are possible with today's technology. The GEMS (Games, Education, Modeling, and Simulation) Institute of Columbus State University is developing a team to map the greater Columbus Georgia in 4D.

Using Goggle Earth, we can retrieve essentially any location on earth and view it in 2D and 3D, locate landmarks, and even view building facades. Some landmarks like the Springer Opera House have photos and video. This project will expand this to a wide range of community landmarks including

  • historical buildings like Pemberton's Pharmacy and the Springer Opera House
  • museums like the Columbus Museum and the Naval Civil War Museum
  • outdoor locations like the Chattahoochee White Water River and Providence Canyon
  • historical sites of the Creek Indians

We propose to extend this to include

  • photos (interior and exterior)
  • video (interior and exterior)
  • sounds
  • virtual “walk-throughs”
  • historical photos, videos, sounds, and virtual “walk-throughs” (where feasible)


This project can provide significant economic development opportunities. The GEMS Institute is developing a prototype for the Valley Partnership of “ Virtual Speculative Buildings ” to describe potential sites in the Valley for companies to locate their businesses


This project could make use of a pipeline of interns across the STEAM disciplines requiring the STEM interns to build the systems using artifacts designed and enhanced by art students, musical scores created by music students, with narrations by theater and communications students. High school and middle school students could do their first internship in collecting materials (photographing buildings and sites, videoing activities, and recording sounds of Columbus). More advanced internships would involve combining the components and building websites and mobile apps to disseminate this rich media. Essential to this project is the collaboration of students and faculty from nearly every academic discipline:

  • Management – Project Management
  • Marketing – Project Marketing
  • Economics – Economic Development activities
  • Computer Science – Programming,
  • MISM – IS Managment
  • IT – Computer Systems Support
  • Music – creating musical scores
  • Art – collecting photos and video
  • Theater - narration
  • Communications - communicating
  • History – collecting historical artifacts
  • Geography - GIS
  • Education
  • Environmental Science
  • Biology