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Seventh International Conference on Information Visualization (IV'03)
Interactive Virtual Reconstructions: Visualization and User Interface Design for Installations in Public Venues
London, England
July 16-July 18
ISBN: 0-7695-1988-1
Alan Price, University of Maryland Baltimore County
This paper presents two case studies in which the objective was to accurately reconstruct a historically significant place no longer accessible to the public due to complete or partial destruction of the original environment. In both cases the desire was to present the reconstructions in a public venue for the purpose of enlightenment; to engage the audience in a deeper understanding of the information being presented in a museum environment and to put in context the artifacts seen in a collection with the source in which they originated.
1) A Virtual Reconstruction of the Cone Sisters Marlborough Apartments, Baltimore Maryland, USA. This installation is on permanent exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art. It is a detailed reconstruction of the two apartments in which Etta and Claribel Cone lived in the 1930s where they amassed a collection of over 3000 works of art by Henri Matisse, Gaugin, Picasso, and others. This renowned Cone Collection now resides in the Cone Wing of the BMA.
2) The Sun Dagger Interactive. Part of a permanent exhibition on cultural astronomy at the Adler Planetarium and Museum, Chicago Illinois, USA, this interactive application reconstructs the solar and lunar calendar construct discovered on top of Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Believed to be created by the ancient Chacoans, or Anasazi, over one thousand years ago, this assembly of three nine foot stone slabs collimates sunlight into patterns of light and shadow onto a spiral petroglyph in the cliff wall. The patterns mark the year?s solstices and equinoxes, and are believed to track the 19-year cycle of the moon.
In both cases extensive research was required to accumulate the necessary data for an accurate reconstruction, each with their own particular methods and obstacles. The resulting datasets for each are very large and could easily overpower the capacity for a museum patron to absorb the information or for an affordable computer system to manage a seamless 3D display of the information. The objective was to build an interactive application in which the viewer can intuitively navigate the reconstructed space with an emphasis on conveying the content of the work in a relatively short amount of time.
The following two case studies present perspectives on the stages of pre-production planning, collection and management of data, interface design, production and technology implementation.
Citation:
Alan Price, "Interactive Virtual Reconstructions: Visualization and User Interface Design for Installations in Public Venues," iv, pp.327, Seventh International Conference on Information Visualization (IV'03), 2003
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