1st International Conference on Geomatics and Restoration - Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Digital Era, Florence, Italy, 22 - 24 May 2017, vol.42-5, pp.403-409
Recent advances in contemporary Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are going to have a significant impact on veryday life. Through VR it is possible to virtually explore a computer-generated environment as a different reality, and to immerse oneself into the past or in a virtual museum without leaving the current real-life situation. For such the ultimate VR experience, the user should only see the virtual world. Currently, the user must wear a VR headset which fits around the head and over the eyes to visually separate themselves from the physical world. Via the headset images are fed to the eyes through two small lenses. Cultural heritage monuments are ideally suited both for thorough multi-dimensional geometric documentation and for realistic interactive visualisation in immersive VR applications. Additionally, the game industry offers tools for interactive visualisation of objects to motivate users to virtually visit objects and places. In this paper the generation of a virtual 3D model of the Selimiye mosque in the city of Edirne, Turkey and its processing for data integration into the game engine Unity is presented. The project has been carried out as a co-operation between BIMTAS, a company of the Greater Municipality of Istanbul, Turkey and the Photogrammetry & Laser Scanning Lab of the HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany to demonstrate an immersive and interactive visualisation using the new VR system HTC Vive. The workflow from data acquisition to VR visualisation, including the necessary programming for navigation, is described. Furthermore, the possible use (including simultaneous multiple users environments) of such a VR visualisation for a CH monument is discussed in this contribution.