Collaborative Virtual Environments Portray Virtual Heritage

Through CITRIS and collaboration between UC Merced and UC Berkeley, scientists are developing a prototype collaborative application for archaeology that allows archeologists from remote locations to interact in real time with 3D archeological models through a shared virtual environment using tele-immersive technology. At each location, a set of stereo cameras captures 3D video of the user in real time to create his/her avatar. The 3D data is sent over the network to the remote location where it is integrated and rendered in the shared virtual environment. The tele-immersive aspect of this work provides a novel approach to interaction and interpretation of 3D archeological models by facilitating an immersive experience in a collaborative setting of remote users. The framework will facilitate the study and analysis of a virtual reconstruction process in archaeology with the help of a virtual community to re-contextualize and reassemble spatial archaeological data.

Three-dimensional laser scanning, remote sensing, GPS, and computer modeling are just some of the tools that have been used to collect and document data on significant culture heritage sites. Combining this information with tele-immersion can lead to new ways for scholars to make connections between disparate pieces of information.

More about the CITRIS Tele-Immersion Lab@ UC Berkeley