If you’re planning a dive, one of the key tasks is thorough research of the site and in the case of a wreck of the specific objects to be explored; you might refer to various diving books (particularly the Diver Guide series) for descriptions & occasionally the odd black & white photo of what the object originally looked like. More recently there have been some very useful wreck dive guides with an illustration of the current state of the object from a particular perspective along with descriptions of the parts & a ‘walkthrough’ of an exploratory dive from divernet. This ‘current state’ and ‘actual experience’ are a boon to orientation once you were ‘in situ’
Technology marches on and I have just come across a number of resources that provide a whole new view of all those underwater features we commonly explore.
One such resource is The Shipwreck Project. Their mission is highlighted in the image on the right with activities including an extensive diving research programme aboard Wey Chieftain IV with the results going into a database of over 1500 wrecks, many with sidescan underwater scans that provide a fully rotatable 3D model of the wreck. The data is available with membership (£85 a year, which includes other benefits as well).
The Shipwreck Project uses images produced by deep3D (and others) a business that is passionate about photogrammetry, particularly for underwater objects (which otherwise are not visible to most).
The deep3D website highlights other underwater scans they have carried out for other underwater objects in the UK. Like those in the Shipwreck project these are fully rotatable meaning you can look at them from whatever perspective you wish rather than a flat illustration from a fixed perspective.
Many 3D models from deep3D (and other creators) are hosted on sketchfab.com, a 3D modelling gallery site where artists can display their work
The following give a comprehensive view of the submerged military vehicles at NDAC in Chepstow and Studland Bay; if you’re at all familiar with any of these the feeling is eerie!
At Scapa Flow
And a cannon site at Chesil Beach
The Jacquin II at Vobster Quay
The Gresham Ship at Stoney Cove
Glen Strathallan Windlass