This article was originally published in Geomatics World.
CyArk and FarBridge have partnered with Oculus to bring photorealistic and fully explorable replicas of some of the world’s most amazing monuments in virtual reality. Launching for both Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, MasterWorks transports users to four historic sites on three continents that span over 3,000 years of human history.
Users can discover the fate of the ancient capital of Thailand, unravel the mysteries of a pre-Incan temple in the Peruvian Andes, explore the astonishing Native American cliff dwellings of Colorado, and get up close to the monumental stone carvings of Mt Rushmore in South Dakota. The experience provides users with access to sites in far flung locations across the globe and to parts of these sites that are not open to the general public.
Users can freely explore the open environments where they can collect artifacts and listen to audio clips from archaeologists, conservators and scientists. As users unravel the mysteries of who built these amazing monuments, they also discover the challenges these sites face today in a rapidly changing climate. The commentary provides rich context and detailed information about these places from world leading experts.
3D recording technologies
CyArk used a combination of 3D recording technologies to accurately map these environments including laser scanning or Lidar, high resolution photogrammetry and drone imagery. Data from these sources was combined to produce a centimeter accurate and photorealistic model. These models that provide the basis for the 3D environments used in the MasterWorks application are also used to help conserve and manage these monuments. This data is also archived as part of CyArk’s core mission to ensure that a digital record of these places exist as our cultural heritage is lost to the ravages of time and destruction.
Using software created by FarBridge, and virtual reality devices by Oculus, CyArk was able to turn 3D data into interactive, explorable worlds. CyArk Chairman and CEO John Ristevski said his organisation is very excited to bring their data to life in Virtual Reality for the first time. The data CyArk collects is so detailed that it can truly immerse you in these places and give you that same sense of awe and wonder you get when you travel there.
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