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Virtual Historic Cities

International Workshop on "Virtual Historic Cities: Reinventing Urban Research"

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The City and Spectacle: a vision of pre-earthquake Lisbon project, a virtual recreation of the city of Lisbon before the 1755 earthquake, using Second Life® technology, is a pioneer project in Portugal promoted by the Centro de História de Arte e Investigação Artística da Universidade de Évora (CHAIA), Beta Technologies, and King’s Visualisation Lab (KVL), King’s College London.

Virtual recreation of historical cities is an emergent area in historical research, allowing an innovative approach to the study and representation of cultural heritage. Currently, virtual worlds replace the classic instruments of 3D modelling, allowing users to interact in a common environment where model building is easy. These characteristics foster coordination between researchers when confirming historical hypotheses, allowing the object of study to be dynamically changed. The application of the virtual language to historical research thus translates into a laboratory model that enables and expands the traditional context of historical research. This new approach allows testing, in an interactive three-dimensional representation, of a long research path in city history, and provides, to an audience simultaneously specialised and enlarged, an immersive experience in a lost urban reality.

Participants in this workshop include Bernard Frischer, Director of the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory, University of Virginia and scientific coordinator of the pioneer project Rome Reborn, a virtual recreation of Classic Rome; Richard Beacham, Director of King’s Visualisation Lab, King’s College London, an institution focused on application of the virtual language to historical research; Drew Baker, researcher and one of the founders of this institution; Ana Cristina Leite, Director of Lisbon’s City Museum (under confirmation); António Filipe Pimentel, Director of the Portuguese National Museum of Ancient Art; Alexandra Gago da Câmara, researcher of CHAIA; Cristina Gouveia, representantive of the company YDreams – specialists in interactive technologies; Helena Murteira, researcher of CHAIA; José Sarmento de Matos, specialist in Lisbon studies and scientific coordinator of the Cultural Itineraries of the Tourism Association of Lisbon; Luís Sequeira, representantive of the company Beta Technologies – Architects of the Virtual World; Paulo Rodrigues, researcher of CHAIA; and Vítor Cóias, Director of GECoRPA – Group of companies providing conservation and restoration of architecture heritage

For more informations, please contact Paulo Rodrigues via e-mail virtualcities.chaia@gmail.com.

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Beta Technologies — Architects of the Virtual World — Developing for Second Life since 2007