Virtual Old Prague

Scaleable Visualization of Large Virtual Cities


The aim of this project is to design and develop a system for processing virtual models of existing cities. The target system is characterized by the following parameters: independence of computational platform, dynamic behavior according to user requests (speed, amount of data, richness of multimedia information, image quality, level of details etc.), access using both the web and a standalone distribution on CD. The structure of the system has been successfully checked on a real web application - the Virtual Old Prague.

Fig. 1: Two views on the model of the Virtual Old Prague.

The system

The resulting application allows viewing a 3D model of a city in a web browser through the Internet. The virtual world is presented to the user in a frame of a HTML page. Users can continuously and interactively walk through the town and examine buildings closely or take one of the system-directed tours along the most attractive sights. During the walk the system displays supplemental images and textual information about the nearest surrounding objects (interesting buildings, statues, important historical places etc.) in another frame. That frame usually contains links to web pages of museums, galleries, hotels, restaurants and other useful resources. Another frame contains an applet with a 2D tourist map synchronously showing current user's position and orientation for easier navigation in the three-dimensional world. The applet can be also used for direct jump to another place by choosing a predefined position from the map.

Fig. 2: System structure diagram.

The system uses not only number of freely available technologies specific to a client side (blue colored rectangles in the diagram on the right in Fig. 2) and a server side (marked by green color), but also newly developed special tools (rectangles in yellow).


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