Cultural Visualisation of a Cultural Photographic Collection in 3D Environments – Development of ‘PAV 3D’ (Photographic Archive Visualisation)
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This demonstration illustrates the possibilities of new 3D technologies in conveying large scale historical photographic databases in interactive 3D virtual environments. We illustrate the visualization of the State Library of Western Australia (SLWA)’s photographic collection containing over 1 million photographs dating back to the 1850s utilizing Curtin’s Hub for Immersive Visualization and eResearch (HIVE). Our application was intended to explore the possibilities in visualizing cultural data sets on the HIVE’s Cylinder, a 3 m high, eight-meter diameter, and 180° cylindrical projection surface. Our demonstration illustrated the potentials of virtual environments in creating interactive information designs for photographic imagery, which can be explored according location, time-period, creator, and subject.
KeywordsCultural visualization Computer graphics Virtual environments Oculus rift 3D Cultural collections Photographic archives
explore the capabilities and suitability of Curtin University’s Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch (HIVE) ;
create a prototype that extends existing similar undertakings based in 2D towards large screen 3D displays;
the exploration of Virtual Reality (VR), in particular large immersive 3D displays as a tool for visualizing large-scale image databases; and
the creation of an appealing and easy to use prototype to illustrate information design aspects for representing large scale image databases in 3D.
2 Related Works
The demand for accessing digital photographic collections housed by cultural institutions and utilizing it in digital humanities and visualization projects is increasing. With this application, we explore the possibilities of immersive environments in digital humanities [2, 3], or . For example, DX Labs in cooperation with the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW)  created the Loom digital interface, which is “a multi layered visualization experiment” that enables news ways of exploring the digitized images of the SLNSW . The Loom online interface offers users different viewing experiences to explore photographic collections in chronologic order based on time, location and topics in a 2D web-space. 3D representations have been considered in form of a projection of Sydney, utilizing location based information of photographic materials. Of the 14,664 digitized images in the SLNSW’s collection, 3,287 images are accessible via LOOM, of which 1,396 have been tagged .
3 Implementation of 3 Scenarios
There are requirements for interacting with the search catalogue using as many human senses as possible: eyes, hands, nose, mouth, ears. Sensory engagement with the collection using mediums of vision and touch are paramount in most cases. Such user experience expectations require future graduates in library and archives professions to be aware and equipped with skill sets in the visual media and data visualization disciplines. Hence, this project offered an opportunity to explore what these skill sets are and to learn from the expertise of the discipline of visual media. Further, to investigate if there are opportunities for offering information studies graduates with elective study pathways in visual media.
4 Discussion and Conclusions
Example metadata for a library database entry.
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