Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Capturing Content for Virtual Museums:

from Pieces to Exhibits

Bradley Hemminger, Gerald Bolas1, Doug Schiff2

School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360

1Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3400

23rdTech 119 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Email: bmh@ils.unc.edu


Virtual museums provide ways to capture the

content of a real museum in a digital (electronic)

form and make this digital form more universally

available. This paper describes a novel method for

digitally recording not only individual museum

pieces, but entire museum exhibits (consisting of one

or more rooms or spaces). The methodology allows

anyone with access to the Internet or a PC to

experience anywhere, anytime, any part of the

museum’s collection or exhibits (past, present and

future). Users can explore the museum exhibits in a

virtual reality that is both spatially accurate and

visually compelling. All objects and 3D scenes are

seen in precise full color photographic quality detail.

The scene and objects are polygonal meshes

representing the surfaces of objects. This permits

making measurements directly on the scene with

millimeter precision. The methodology, its

application to capturing museum exhibits, and

examples of exhibits recorded using this technique

are described. This work is part of the Virseum

project (http://ils.unc.edu/bmh/virseum) at the

School of Information and Library Science at the

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).

In addition to the capture of items and exhibits for

virtual access, this methodology opens the door for

many other applications, including capturing a

record of an exhibit for archival purposes and for

communication between curators, and for the design

of virtual (never physically implemented) exhibits

and pieces based on actual pieces and settings.

Categories and Subject Descriptors (ACM)

H.3.7 Digital Libraries I.4.1 Digitization and

Image Capture H.5 INFORMATION




Digital library, virtual museums, virtual exhibits, 3D

digitization, 3D object scanning, 3D visualization.

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