Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Sylaiou S.1, Liarokapis F.2, Sechidis L.1, Patias P.1, Georgoula O.1

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece1

sylaiou@photo.topo.auth.gr, lazikas@photo.topo.auth.gr, patias@topo.auth.gr. olge@topo.auth.gr

City University, London, U.K.2


Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Virtual Museum, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Web3D


Museums are interested in digitizing their collections in order not only to preserve the cultural information, but also to make it available to the wide public in an attractive manner. Emerging technologies, such as VR, AR and Web3D are widely used for creating virtual museum exhibitions in a museum environment through informative kiosks and on the World Wide Web. This paper makes a survey in the field and explores the various kinds of virtual museums, their advantages and limitations by presenting old and new methods and tools used for their creation.

Virtual museums can respond in various ways to visitors’ needs. With the use of VR, AR and Internet technologies, they can provide an entertaining and educational experience. Additionally, they enrich the museum experience by enabling an intuitive interaction with the virtual museum artifacts. The benefits of virtual museums are noteworthy for museum curators and various groups of end-users, like students, specialists and tourists.

Virtual museums have the potential to preserve and disseminate the cultural information in an effective and low-cost way through innovative methods and tools. They do not aim at replacing the physical museums, but they act complementary. Virtual museums that are an engaging medium with great appeal to various visitors’ groups can promote the ‘real sites’ by providing information about museum exhibitions and offer an enhanced display of museums’ artefacts through emerging technologies.

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