Culture vultures enjoy exploring museum collections online. New 3D technology promises to make their experience richer still. With a mouse click, people can manipulate valuable objects as if they were in their own hands.
“As far as I know, no European museums offer 3D presentations of their prized treasures,” says Martin White, coordinator of the IST project ARCO. “Their websites are mostly just a catalogue of what they own or are exhibiting. But with our software, a museum can enhance its site by building a 3D virtual exhibition.”
The process begins with digitisation of cultural objects, creating 3D virtual representations in X3D (an XML-enabled 3D file format) or VRML (Virtual Reality Markup Language). Object modelling software then generates 3D models, which are made interactive using other tools. These virtual representations and associated metadata (such as age, colour and shape) are then described using XML (eXtensible Markup Language) for storage in an object-relational database.
Tara Morris | alfa
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