Title:Time-Travels in Virtual Online Landscapes: New Presentation Possibilities with Online Virtual Reality
Authors:Askan Striepe, Christian Quintus, Birgit Bohme, Uta Simmons, Ingo Braun, Anja Kutzner, Leonie Schafer, Andreas Knoche
Publication:MW98: Museums and the Web 1998

This paper discusses the opportunities offered by virtual online landscapes to the design and organization of historical exhibitions.The authors report about their experiences with the development of a time variable VR-platform for museums archives and libraries. For this purpose a historical quarter of the city of Berlin has been reconstructed in three different time levels (1855, 1928, 1992). In addition this platform will serve as an environment for the presentation of exhibitions about various subjects. Exhibits in digitized form (text, pictures sound, film clips and three-dimensional objects) will be included online from the databases of the associated museums and archives.

The paper mainly deals with four topics:

  • Which possibilities can be gained by integrating exhibits in a specific spatial and historical context? What are the consequences regarding the selection of suitable exhibition objects?
  • What are the requirements for the institutions to share the same VR-platform in an interdisciplinary collaboration? Is the metadata approach an adequate solution for the management of different information from distributed databases?
  • What are the positive side effects of combining various exhibitions on a common platform? Is it possible to re-use parts of one exhibition as a folio for another one?
  • Which new communication methods are introduced by using Virtual Reality? Does a collaborative multi-user concept add value to the restricted forms of conventional presentations? Is a VR-platform suitable for exhibition concepts designed for different target groups? What are the requirements for navigating in a virtual environment?