The Use of Historical Documents as a Basis for 3D Modeling and Immersive Experiences

Authors: Jiawei Huang, Pennsylvania State University, Mahda M. Bagher*, Pennsylvania State University, Heather Dohn Ross, Pennsylvania State University, Nathan Piekielek, Pennsylvania State University, Jan Oliver Wallgrün, Pennsylvania State University, Jiayan Zhao, Pennsylvania State University, Alexander Klippel, Pennsylvania State University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Historical Geography
Keywords: virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D modeling; procedural modeling, digital humanities, reconstruction, virtual environment, historical documents
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 7, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Libraries have been the key to preserving culture and historic legacy for centuries. One such treasure cataloged in The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) Libraries is a collection of over 33,000 SanbornTM Fire Insurance Maps. Originally kept safe in metal drawers, the library has embarked on a journey to digitize this abundance of information, combine it with other media such as photographs, and make it accessible through a web interface. Inspired by these efforts, we accessed this information and took it to the next level. Using state of the art 3D modeling and immersive technologies, we created a historic 3D model and immersive experiences of Penn State, exemplarily for the 1922 campus. The resulting experiences can be accessed through the web but also through head mounted displays (HMD) and mobile phones in combination with VR viewers such as the Google Cardboard. Additionally, they can be used anywhere in the world or on the campus itself as a way to enable remote and in situ experiences and learning. Immersive experiences let us connect to the past, the present and the future, and as such offer value to digital cultural heritage efforts.

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