Paper 3dab:
Virtual Heritage: Is There a Future for the Past? [Herencia virtual: ¿Hay un futuro para el pasado?]

Cumulative Index of Computer Aided Architectural Design
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id 3dab
authors Maver, Tom and Petric, Jelena
year 1999
title Virtual Heritage: Is There a Future for the Past? [Herencia virtual: ¿Hay un futuro para el pasado?]
source III Congreso Iberoamericano de Grafico Digital [SIGRADI Conference Proceedings] Montevideo (Uruguay) September 29th - October 1st 1999, pp. 482-487
summary This paper attempts an overview of the contribution which emerging information technologies - viz CAD, Multimedia, Virtual Reality and the Internet - can make to the presentation, understanding and preservation of the rich architectural heritage which exists (pro-term) in almost every cultural context. In the UK, the growing interest in sites such as Stonehenge has, through the threat of greater physical presence, increasingly kept the public at bay - a curious paradox which Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential to address. Virtual Reality (-an overly used and underly understood term-) is an information technology which can provide a convincing experience of environments which: i) exist, but are too remote, costly or hazardous, to visit. ii) don't yet exist but are planned, such as architectural designs or urban plans. iii) never will exist, other than in the imagination. iv) existed in the past and are now threatened or already lost. // This paper has its focus on the latter category, i.e. what is now becoming known as Virtual Heritage (VH), but it puts VH in the context of the broader spectrum of simulated experiences of past, present and future environments of cultural significance. The paper draws largely on the work of ABACUS, the Architecture and Building Aids Computer Unit, Strathclyde. The examples of the application of IT to VH include: i) a virtual reality experience of Historic Scotland's premier historical site: Skara Brae, the most complete neolithic settlement in Northern Europe. ii) a multimedia CD-ROM featuring some 50 of the most wonderful interiors of Glasgow's architectural treasures. iii) a computer based archive of rare and normally inaccessible 17C and 18C drawings of Scottish buildings from three seminal sources. iv) a massive 3-D model of Glasgow (some 10,000 buildings located on the hilly terrain of the city), which is now accessible on the Internet. // The paper concludes with conjectures based on the examples given of how emerging information technologies can help secure a future for the past.
series SIGRADI
email t.w.maver@strath.ac.uk
content file.pdf (327,374 bytes)
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