CGG
 
PROJECTS
Virtual Heart of Central Europe (VHCE)

Virtual Heart of Central Europe (VHCE)

Abstract

The aim of this EU project was to digitally reconstruct selected significant objects of cultural heritage in four European cities Prague, Bratislava, Maribor and Graz and save them for the future in a public digital archive. The project was part of the international activity Culture 2000. The four cooperating teams from Bratislava (SK - coordinator), Prague (CZ), Maribor (SL) and Graz (AU) participated on development of digital archive of cultural jewels. The goal of the authors was focused on architectural verticals of the cities. Therefore the subtitle of the project was Towers and Wells. The presentation of five historical objects from the city of Prague has been created using several interactive technologies. The result was published in April 2004 and is available on http://www.vhce.info.

Project Description and The Technology

The first task of such kind of project is to collect an appropriate data representing each object (images, text and audio commentary and 3D models). We used six technologies which can be applied to present the selected objects of cultural heritage (some of them in interactive form). Each object is presented by a set of photographs, text and audio commentary, 3D animation mixed with real video, Quick Time VR panorama and interactive VRML walkthroughs. In order to complete all necessary data, the detailed description in form of storyboards has been created and a special textual description format based on XML standard has been developed. Each member of the realizing team then had appropriate information about data he/she had to acquire and under which conditions these data had to be captured and measured.

The Prague team selected the following historical objects from the interesting places of the city (corresponding to the following figure):

  1. Towers of Charles Bridge (Mostecke veze): Lesser Town Bridge Tower and Old Town Bridge Tower

  2. Old Town Hall and Old Town Tower (Staromestska radnice)

  3. Singing Fountain (Zpivajici fontana)

  4. Powder Tower (Prasna brana)

The presentation of each object consists of:

  1. textual information about history and contemporary status, the user can also listen the commentary in audio form in English or Czech

  2. the panoramic view, there is possible to see nice scenery of historical city from location of presented objects. Using technology of QuickTime VR the user can see panorama from the location of each presented object.

  3. photographs, each object is also documented by a gallery offering interesting views to/from its location.

  4. video, all presented objects are shown in context of whole city by a short video where real and synthetic scene are mixed in order to show the object from points were the human normally cannot get to.

  5. VRML interactive scene, the user can also interactively walk through the 3D model of each object and manipulate with it to see details

The data captured in the terrain (real environment, libraries, archives) was processed according to the its type (image, video, text) and then the collected sets of presentation materials were published in form of a special application implemented in Flash by Jozef Martinka - the member of the Slovak team. The final version of presentation can be seen on the following site: http://www.vhce.info. The details can be seen in the following publications.

Publications

  • 2004: ŽÁRA J.
    Visualization and Virtual Cities (Paper in Conference Proceedings)
    In Prague CODATA Information Visualization Workshop. Prague: CTU, 2004, p. 54-59. 2004: FERKO A., MARTINKA J., SORMAN M., KARNER K., ŽÁRA J., KRIVOGRAD S.
    Virtual Heart of Central Europe (Paper in Conference Proceedings)
    In Proceedings of 9th symposion on INFO- & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY in URBAN- AND SPATIAL PLANNING and IMPACTS OF ICT ON PHYSICAL SPACE. Wien: Technische Universität, 2004, p. 193-200. ISBN 3-901673-11-2.

  • 2004: BERKA R., SPORKA A., SLAVÍK P., ŽÁRA J.
    A Formal Approach to The Development of Web Based Multimedia Presentations (Paper in Conference Proceedings)
    In First Central European International Multimedia and Virtual Reality Conference. Veszprém: Veszprém University Press, 2004, p. 145-154. ISBN 963-9495-46-8.

  • 2004: BERKA R., SPORKA A., SLAVÍK P., ŽÁRA J.
    VRI Exhibition (Paper in Conference Proceedings)
    In Proceedings of SCCG (conference materials and posters). Bratislava: Comenius University, 2004, p. 47-51. ISSN 1335-5694.

  • 2004: SPORKA A., BERKA R., SLAVÍK P., ŽÁRA J.
    Authoring of Multimedia Presentations in Web Environment (Paper in Conference Proceedings)
    In Proceedings of Workshop 2004. Prague: CTU, 2004, vol. A, p. 320-321. ISBN 80-01-02945-X.

  • 2004: ŽÁRA J.
    Virtual Reality and Cultural Heritage on the Web (Invited Paper)
    In 7th International Conference Computer Graphics and Artificial Inteligence - Proceedings of the Conference. Limoges: Universite de Limoges, 2004, p. 101-112. ISBN 2-914256-06-X.