Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rome Reborn

From 1997 to 2007, the UCLA CVRlab (Cultural Virtual Reality Laboratory), UCLA ECT (Experiential Technology), the Reverse Engineering Lab at the Politecnico di Milano and the IATH (Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities of the University of Virginia came together to participate on a project to recreate Rome.

Rome Reborn is a 15m across minutely detailed scale model of the city of Rome as it was in 320AD. More recently the model was laser-scanned and digitised by an international team of researchers led by Bernard Frischer and Rome Reborn 2.0 was born. Unveiled at the SIGGRAPH conference in LA last week, the VR version of Rome 320AD is spectacular, and thanks to this visitors to Rome can experience the same detail as they walk the ancient monuments of the city. TimeMachine is a new handheld gadget produced by Ducati Myers and the University of Bologna, which, utilising the Rome Reborn 2.0 system, automatically displays 3D reconstructions of ancient building.

As well as this you can also fly over the ancient city and zoom in on specific buildings. Another major plus is that unlike many 'tourist toys' the device is relatively cheap - hire costs around 5 Euros per hour.

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