Leaving Curtin University

At the end of August 2020 my contract with Curtin University will expire, with the pandemic and budget issues, unless I take up a little sessional teaching (and possibly adjunct reseearch as CI on existing Australian Research Council grants) I will sever connection with Curtin. Faculty policy has made it near impossible to take up management or other roles here by contract researchers.

I have a short-term invited and funded visiting scientist (professor) position at the University of Padova (Padua) Italy, via host Professor Andrea Giordano, but due to current Australian border closure, this may have to be online or postponed.

I have two books to edit or submit and some journal articles and 4 PhD students to transfer (plus some very promising research grant applications), but otherwise will be seeking a more robust appointment. Sadly, with the Australian government annoucements on the funding of humanities degrees, this may have to be overseas.

Thanks to all those helpful colleagues I have met while here over the last seven years. I’d also like to thank University of Western Australia and Australian National University for offering me the following:

  • Honorary Research Professor, Centre of Digital Humanities Research (CDHR), Australian National University
  • Honorary Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences, FABLE, University of Western Australia

PhD scholarships at University of Western Australia, Perth

I am now an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Social Sciences, FABLE, University of Western Australia and can be an associate supervisor for one of these PhD scholarships:
http://www.scholarships.uwa.edu.au/search?sc_view=1&id=7561&sub=1

Dean’s Excellence in FABLE PhD Scholarships

The Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education (FABLE) is offering a limited number of prestigious postgraduate research scholarships to academically outstanding international and domestic students wishing to undertake a research doctorate degree (PhD) in FABLE.

All Dean’s Excellence in FABLE PhD Scholars will receive a scholarship package which includes: a living allowance of $33,000 per annum; overseas student single health cover (for international students) and tuition fees.

Available in the International Scholarships Round for commencement in 2021.

Payment type: Tuition Fee Scholarship, Fortnightly Stipend and Health Insurance

Value: $33000

Value unit: Per annum

Basis of award: Academic Achievement

Eligibility: To be considered for the Dean’s Excellence in FABLE PhD Scholarships, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

1. International applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for an International ResearchTraining Program Scholarship

2. Domestic applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for a Domestic Research Training Program Scholarship

Please note that these scholarships are available to commencing PhD students only. Current PhD students are not eligible to apply.

Nationality: Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident, New Zealand Citizen, Australian Humanitarian Visa, International

Study area: Humanities, Law, Music, Social and Cultural Studies, Accounting, Economics, Education (Early Childhood), Education (Primary), Education (Secondary), Finance, Management, Marketing, Arts, Architecture Landscape and Visual Arts

Commencement date: 11/01/2021

Applications open: 01/07/2020

Applications close: 31/08/2020

Tenable At: University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia

Rethinking Virtual Places

I mentioned this before (it went through 3 years of reviews) but the (updated) Rethinking Virtual Places book (97,000 words, approx 30 images) will be published by Indiana University Press in The Spatial Humanities series. Probably in 2021.

1-A Potted History of Virtual Reality
2-Dead, Dying, Failed Worlds
3-Architecture: Places Without People
4-Theories of Place & Cyberspace
5-Rats & Goosebumps-Mind, Body & Embodiment
6-Games are not Interactive Places
7-Do Serious Gamers Learn From Place?
8-Cultural Places
9-Evaluating Sense of Place, Virtual Places & Virtual Worlds
10-Place-Making Interfaces & Platforms
11-Conclusion

Assassin’s Creed: What is it doing in the history class?

I’ve been thinking of asking historians, art historians and archaeologists, if they would like to contribute to a new edited book, primarily (or only) on Assassin’s Creed. How do they or could they use it for teaching and research. What new features would they love to see? Could we get some of the professional historians who advised on the series to write their thoughts, advice, and experiences? Perhaps even one of the game designers who worked on the series?

What would be a good title?

  • Assassin’s Creed for Academics: What We Wrote in the Shadows? (What We Taught in the Shadows?)
  • Assassin’s Creed: Academics Take Aim
  • Assassin’s Creed: An Educated Stab in the Dark
  • Assassin’s Creed in the Classroom: Have Eagle, Will Travel
  • update: Alex Butterworth suggested Under the Hood

References

Presence, Place, Phenomenology, and VR

Thanks for the feedback on
Champion, E. (Ed.) (2019). The Phenomenology of Real and Virtual Places. London, UK: Routledge.

Immersion Rhetoric

I’ve found only one text that discusses the interconnection of communication and virtual reality exclusively – Biocca and Levy’s edited collection, Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality. Originally published in 1995, one might think that the text contains outdated information, which may be true for some of the chapters. However, many of the text’s chapters are highly relevant and applicable to present research in the field. I often find citations to chapters of the text (particularly those authored by Biocca) in articles published in Frontiers.

Virtual Reality and Communication Studies

Biocca and Levy’s collection seems to have a specific focus on individual user experience within a virtual environment(s), describing the notion of presence, assemblages for sensorimotor augmentation, and interfaces design and experience. The introduction of the text begins with a bold claim: “Virtual reality is not a technology; it is a destination.” (4). Each chapter of the text…

View original post 1,520 more words

A stable directory of great VR experiences

I was asked on ABC radio today if there is an online directory of all the great VR projects (travel, tourism etc). Either that or a way for searching for VR projects by specific formats, directly.

I don’t know of any but there should be-would make a great archival research project as well (reason: challenging!). Should I talk to Google?

Conference paper out (short paper) DHN2020

The Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries 2020 conference was postponed but papers published online:

Arthur, Paul Longley, Erik Champion, Hugh Craig, Ning Gu, Mark Harvey, Victoria Haskins, Andrew May, Bill Pascoe, Alana Piper, Lyndall Ryan, Rosalind Smith, and Deb Verhoeven. “Time-Layered Cultural Map of Australia.” Paper presented at the Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries (DHN2020) Conference, Riga, Latvia, 2020, URL: http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-2612/short2.pdf

Association with ANU

CDHRE-ANU Centre for Digital Humanities Research today offered me a 5 year honorary professorship. I’d just like to thank them for their support (and thanks to my referees). It is a formal process but not at all painful.

PS No I am not authorised to speak on behalf of ANU. But I get library membership and maybe office space when I visit (The Australian National University in Canberra is a mere 3,718 km from Perth by car). I have been to CDHR and they are great people with verve, it will be a pleasure to collaborate and to promote CDHR.

Oh and Canberra has platypuses in Lake Burley Griffin. Seriously, I think I saw some on my last trip. Maybe it was a puggle.

Virtual Archaeology Review journal (recommended)

Dr Hafizur Rahaman and I will have an article on virtual /digital 3D heritage repositories published/in press at open-access journal Virtual Archaeology Review – they have interesting articles in press I recommend the journal.

The article is called Survey of 3D Digital Heritage Repositories and Platforms, update: an early version is online:

Champion, E., & Rahaman, H. (2020). Survey of 3D Digital Heritage Repositories and Platforms. The Virtual Archaeology Review (VAR), 11(23). https://doi.org/10.4995/var.2020.13226

 Despite the increasing number of three-dimensional (3D) model portals and online repositories catering for digital heritage scholars, students and interested members of the general public, there are very few recent academic publications that offer a critical analysis when reviewing the relative potential of these portals and online repositories. Solid reviews of the features and functions they offer are insufficient; there is also a lack of explanations as to how these assets and their related functionality can further the digital heritage (and virtual heritage) field, and help in the preservation, maintenance, and promotion of real-world 3D heritage sites and assets. What features do they offer? How could their feature list better cater for the needs of the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) sector? 

This article’s priority is to examine the useful features of 8 institutional and 11 commercial repositories designed specifically to host 3D digital models. The available features of their associated 3D viewers, where applicable, are also analysed, connecting recommendations for future-proofing with the need to address current gaps and weaknesses in the scholarly field of 3D digital heritage. Many projects do not address the requirements stipulated by charters, such as access, reusability, and preservation. The lack of preservation strategies and examples highlights the oxymoronic nature of virtual heritage (oxymoronic in the sense that the virtual heritage projects themselves are seldom preserved). To study these concerns, six criteria for gauging the usefulness of the 3D repositories to host 3D digital models and related digital assets are suggested. The authors also provide 13 features that would be useful additions for their 3D viewers. 

Virtual Heritage book

Hello, with eight authors for eight chapters I am proposing a concise guide on virtual heritage to publishers. I believe I have been allowed UNESCO chair/Curtin funding to pay publishing open access fees (so the book can be free as online PDFs) and hopefully reasonably priced to purchase.

I believer we now have two recommendations for external reviewers but we still need to get all author chapter abstracts ready and the proposal to the publisher for approval. Each chapter will be a taut 3500 words with 1-3 images.

Given the book is aimed at graduate or senior undergraduate students who may not be familiar with an overview or specific topics of virtual heritage, what title is best?

Virtual Heritage in Focus?

Virtual Heritage: A Concise Guide?

Also, are we missing an important chapter/theme subject?

Foreword: Classrooms and Projects

Preamble

  1. Past Worlds: Creating and Animating
  2. Gaming Heritage: archaeology and Minecraft
  3. Mixed Reality
  4. Mapping Meaningful Journeys From Ancient Pasts
  5. Photogrammetry at Scale
  6. Photogrammetry for the People: Towards VR
  7. Hybrid Interactions in Museums
  8. Evaluation in Virtual Heritage

Glossary

Australian Research Council Grants

Below are the 3 Australian Research Council grants I am currently a Chief Investigator on. The information is publicly available on the ARC website.

LE190100019 — The University of Newcastle

Time-layered cultural map of Australia. The Time-layered cultural map (TLCMap) of Australia is an online research platform that will deliver researcher driven national-scale infrastructure for the humanities, focused on mapping, time series, and data integration. The TLCMap will expand the use of Australian cultural and historical data for research through sharply defined and powerful discovery mechanisms, enabling researchers to visualise hidden geographic and historical patterns and trends, and to build online resources which present to a wider public the rich layers of cultural data in Australian locations. TLCMap is not a singular project or software application with a defined research outcome, but infrastructure linking geo-spatial maps of Australian cultural and historical information, adapted to time series and will be a significant contribution to humanities research in Australia. For researchers, it will transform access to data and to visualisation tools and open new perspectives on Australian culture and history. For the public, it will enable increased accessibility to historical and cultural data through visualisations made available online and in print.

  • Administering Organisation: The University of Newcastle
  • Scheme Name: Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities
  • Lead Investigator: Prof Hugh Craig
  • Current Funding: $420,000.00
  • Announced Funding: $420,000.00
  • Funding Commencement Year: 2019
  • Status: Active
  • Primary FoR: 2103 – Historical Studies
  • Anticipated End Date: 21 October 2020

LE200100123 — The University of Western Australia

The Digitisation Centre of Western Australia (Phase 1). All five Western Australian Universities, the WA State Library and the WA Museum will collaborate to establish a world-class archival quality Digitisation Centre. There is no existing facility of this kind in WA. During this 12 month project all digitisation equipment will be acquired, installed and used to digitise a diverse range of cultural objects so as to ensure its ability to address the full spectrum of research needs. The Digitisation Centre will form a major piece of national research infrastructure with a prominent international profile and significance. The Centre will have the capacity to digitise all significant Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) research collections held by participating institutions within a decade.

  • Administering Organisation: The University of Western Australia
  • Scheme Name: Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities
  • Lead Investigator: Prof Benjamin Smith
  • Current Funding: $1,100,000.00
  • Announced Funding: $1,100,000.00
  • Funding Commencement Year: 2020
  • Status: Active
  • Primary FoR: 2102 – Curatorial and Related Studies
  • Anticipated End Date:31 December 2020

LP180100284 — Curtin University

Photogrammetric Reconstruction for Underwater Virtual Heritage Experiences. This project aims to enable significant underwater cultural heritage sites such as shipwrecks to be recreated in immersive underwater virtual heritage experiences. Photogrammetric 3D reconstruction techniques will be used to generate complex digital 3D models of shipwreck sites from hundreds of thousands of underwater images. This will allow vivid experiences to be created which explain the stories of these wrecks. The project will conduct audience engagement studies to recommend the most appropriate methods to implement underwater virtual heritage experiences for Australian audiences. The sites which will be used as test datasets are some of the most significant Australian shipwreck sites, including HMAS Sydney (II) and HMAS AE1.

  • Administering Organisation: Curtin University
  • Scheme Name: Linkage Projects
  • Lead Investigator: Dr Andrew Woods
  • Current Funding: $473,814.00
  • Announced Funding: $461,783.00
  • Funding Commencement Year: 2019
  • Status: Active
  • Primary FoR: 0909 – Geomatic Engineering
  • Anticipated End Date: 27 January 2023

UNESCO Chair PhD student wins a best paper award!

Mr Ikrom Nishanbaev has won best paper award!

A Cloud Architecture for Processing and Visualization of 3D Geo-located Cultural Heritage Models (https://doi.org/10.5220/0009341500510061) (won the best student paper award at 6th International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management 2020  – http://www.gistam.org/PreviousAwards.aspx)

He is supervised by myself and Dr David McMeekin, Curtin University. He joins Mafkereseb Bekele, our other PhD student, who won a young CAADRIA award last year. Ikrom is featured in the current banner for this website, explaining mixed reality and 3D walkable mixed reality maps (actually Mafi’s projects).

Ikrom’s research is more to do with the semantic web, linked open data, GIS and 3D models. You can see his PhD publications below:

The Philosophy in the Computing

I just received an article submission back with major revisions required. For a computing related journal. I actually appreciated the comments but that is not the point of the post. What struck me was a comment that my article was a bit philosophical / theoretical for an applied computing-related journal.

Deciding what is or should be computational is actually a very deep decision.

I wonder how many of the people who work with computers (especially virtual reality) have read this article, written a mere 75 years ago..

As We May Think

“Consider a future device …  in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.

-”Vannevar Bush, July 1945 Issue, The Atlantic

Featured image is from https://www.defense.gov/observe/photo-gallery/igphoto/2001104527/

Art History, Heritage Games, and Virtual Reality chapter

According to Routledge’s online article “Publishing Open Access Books: Chapters” I am allowed to archive a preprint copy on my own site or the site of my institute (but not the published version). Please remember there may be slight variations to the published chapter. My thanks to Associate Professor Anna Foka, (Humlab and Uppsala University) for being such a wonderful co-author and collaborator.

To cite the article (in APA format):

Champion, E., & Foka, A. (2020). Art History, Heritage Games, and Virtual Reality. In K. J. Brown (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities and Art History, (pp. 238-253). Oxford, UK: Routledge.

DOI is: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429505188

Preprint chapter:

Figure 17.2 The Virtual Reality environment and avatar in 2D, digitizing ancient dance 2016, Humlab.

UNESCO Chair report 2016-2020

The four years is not up yet but UNESCO asks for a report on the last day of May (the UNESCO Chair of Cultural Visualisation and Heritage finishes 31 August).

These figures may change tomorrow slightly but so far, as summary:

Mafkereseb Bekele (centre) winning a Young CAADRIA award
Mafkereseb Bekele (centre) winning a Young CAADRIA award (L) Dr Hafizur Rahaman, (R) Dean Marc Aurel Schnabel (Victoria University of Wellington, NZ). Photo by Dr Rahaman.
  • Books 1
  • Books (edited) 2
  • Books (chapters) 14
  • Journal Articles (refereed) 21
  • Conference Proceedings 6
  • Conference Papers 27
  • Teaching/Learning Materials 1 course (and 1 university course), 18 workshops or related events
  • Multimedia Materials (CD-Rom) Multimedia Materials (Video) demonstration movies, website with 3D/GIS map showcase.
  • Student prizes for papers 2
  • Grants: 3 Australian Research Council Grants and 1 Pelagios grant, Curtin Institute for Computation grants. Overall, over 2 million AUD.
  • 10 Keynotes.
Game Design Workshop, photo by Associate Professor Rachel Hendery, University of Newcastle, December 2019.

Pending:

  • 2 books.
  • 4 book chapters.
  • 1 conference group session (was postponed).
  • 2 journal articles.
  • 1 Keynote.

Virtual Heritage Multimodality

There are all sorts of interesting VR suits and gloves (or simpler assistive devices), olfactory and haptic-based devices (and even location-based audio augmented reality using headphones) now promising all sorts of sensations with potential links to tourism but also in particular to cultural heritage tourism (virtual heritage).

I’d be very happy to test out some of these extra experiential possibilities with historical and heritage-focused contexts.

It is perhaps a little ironic that a small but important goal for consumer-level VR is not handsfree control but hands-included VR (oculus) or by using more adept controllers (valve index).

ABC Radio interview today (and online)

Today I talk to Andrea Gibbs on the ABC national radio “Weekends” show about virtual travel/tourism 12.10 midday in WA (AWST) or 2PM AEST (eastern states of Australia) https://abc.net.au/radio/programs/weekends/weekends/12257712 OR here

Join Andrea Gibbs on this weekend to discover how virtual reality holidays allow you to not only see and hear the sights and sounds of your holiday but for the first time ever touch and taste.

ABC Weekends
An official at a PlayUp Perth event some years ago (note reverential body language).

I see they are talking about virtual holidays rather than virtual tourism and travel but I will see what I can talk about (very painful to talk about holidays when one is not going on one).

I think the change is because they read my the Conversation article “Virtual reality adds to tourism through touch, smell and real people’s experiences.”

And following up my earlier post on virtual travel and tour apps, here is a recent article from CNET.COM on VR escape rooms. It threads back to a recent article on their summary of the best (consumer) VR headsets.

VR travel and tour apps

The Financial Times has published an article entitled “Could this be the moment virtual-reality travel finally takes off?” (You may have to answer a survey to read the article):

“The cartoonish game is less R&R, “more a place of decompression as action”, says Andrew Eiche, chief technology officer at Vacation Simulator’s developer, Owlchemy Labs. He is sceptical that today’s VR headsets are powerful enough to deliver truly realistic recreations of places such as the Sistine Chapel. “Is it really any different to looking at it on a monitor?” he says. “You need to go beyond looking to acting — that is where VR really excels.”

Examples include https://grandtour.myswitzerland.com/ and https://www.virtualyosemite.org/ especially https://www.virtualyosemite.org/virtual-tour/

What are the best VR tours and travel apps? This is a small subset of the best VR apps (the best VR apps according to digital trends).

A company has also made a VR (well, Cinematic/360 VR) of Antarctica (“VR in the freezer”) that is touring Australian museums, and will tour internationally.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

A travel and leisure online article has already suggested VR tours can help relieve the boredom of pandemic lockdowns:

But there is a way to get a little culture and education while you’re confined to your home. According to Fast Company, Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world..

Two months ago the Guardian reviewed the world’s best virtual museum and art gallery tours.

Generally these are 360 panoramas, not true VR, but there are convenient tools to help you create your own panoVR (cinematic VR).

Lifewire has listed “7 Great Virtual Reality Travel Experiences”. One example of note is the VR Museum of Fine Art.

There are also projects taking off using live guides through the web with a camera, or who take you on a tour of a real museum with a real but physically remote guide/curator so that museums can still be quasi-open during lockdown.

An example of remote tourism is by the Faroes Islands, a very isolated Scandinavian island nation. They also explain their project:

Via a mobile, tablet or PC, you can explore the Faroes’ rugged mountains, see close-up its cascading waterfalls and spot the traditional grass-roofed houses by interacting – live – with a local Faroese, who will act as your eyes and body on a virtual exploratory tour.
The local is equipped with a live video camera, allowing you to not only see views from an on-the-spot perspective, but also to control where and how they explore using a joypad to turn, walk, run or even jump!

Via a mobile, tablet or PC, you can explore the Faroes’ rugged mountains, see close-up its cascading waterfalls and spot the traditional grass-roofed houses by interacting – live – with a local Faroese, who will act as your eyes and body on a virtual exploratory tour.
The local is equipped with a live video camera, allowing you to not only see views from an on-the-spot perspective, but also to control where and how they explore using a joypad to turn, walk, run or even jump!

VR focus has an interesting article on the development of VR for tourism, and the Virtual Segovia project sounds like it is worth keeping tabs on.

Now before we look at the commercial VR content stores, there are cultural heritage organizations with VR tour/travel content. Some are available via Google .

Europeana

An online portal of major European libraries and museum collections, they have vintage stereo VR and examples of how to create stories and lessons with the stereoVR prints.

Google

For example, Google Earth and Google Earth Voyager (with sections on editors picks, games, layers, quizzes, nature, travel, education).

There is Google Earth VR https://arvr.google.com/earth/ for VIVE and OCULUS headsets (HMDs).

Even Google Streetview can be viewed in Google VR https://www.blog.google/products/google-vr/get-closer-look-street-view-google-earth-vr/

“The new version of Earth VR is available today for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. And if you don’t have one of those systems, you can still check out Street View in VR with your phone—just download the Street View app for Daydream and Cardboard.”

https://artsandculture.google.com/ is a wonderful sight and also has scavenger hunts, at, for example the British Museum.

There are also “virtual tours” based on Google Street View. For example, you can “virtually” visit Chernobyl. Here is an abandoned roller coaster.

An open source alternative to Google Maps is Open Street Map (OSM). There is a youtube video explaining how OSM data can be used with WebVR (“2019: VR Map: Using OSM Data In a WebVR Environment VRmap on Github”) and the app vrmap can be downloaded via Github.

Online/VR Models for Cultural Tourism/Travel

You can also visit online and via VR headsets repositories of 3D models of buildings and landscapes.

The Smithsonian allows you to view tour and download 3D artefacts and has interesting content, such as the Virtual Tour and the VR Hangar.

Sketchfab

But the biggest online 3D/VR repository is arguably Sketchfab. Sketchfab has a Cultural Heritage + History section.

Eg Hagios Aberkios (Theotokos) Monastery Church 9th from Cultural Heritage and History Top 10 – 2020 wk 21
Sketchfab also has a places and travel section.

CYARK is a volunteer organization that has scanned major cultural heritage monuments uses Sketchfab to present their models.

Minecraft VR

For something lighter, families can also visit Minecraft VR “PLUNGE INTO THIS NEW MINECRAFT DIMENSION ON OCULUS RIFT, WINDOWS MIXED REALITY, AND GEAR VR” and a trailer is on Youtube.

Games

Commercial game companies like Ubisoft have explored creating escape game VR and virtual tours inside physical exhibitions such as

Assassin’s Creed VR – Temple of Anubis. Gamasutra has explained their design process for these VR escape rooms.

At XRDC in San Francisco today Ubisoft Dusseldorf’s Cyril Voiron took to the stage to talk a bit about his work on Ubisoft’s Escape Games, virtual reality experiences that challenge players to escape virtual puzzle rooms.”


NB Trotech exhibited a physical location VR game demo in 2018.

Like brains on your journeys? Not exactly tourism, but some VR games have an element of real-world tourism.

“Face all the horrors that the living and the dead can offer in this new VR adventure in The Walking Dead universe. Travel through the ruins of walker infested New Orleans as you fight, sneak, scavenge, and survive each day unraveling a city wide mystery within the iconic quarters. Encounter desperate factions and lone survivors who could be friend or foe. Whether you help others or take what you want by force, every choice you make has consequences. What kind of survivor will you be for the people of NOLA?”

Or do you want to explore alien worlds? “The latest update from Hello Games adds a whole host of much-requested features to No Man’s Sky, including full, end-to-end support for PlayStation VR.”

One can even “tour” medieval fantasy worlds, or at least the modifications (mods) that are created using the free game creation tools. Here I am referring to Skyrim VR. Can it handle mods? With certain caveats, yes (on PC that is). You can buy it on Steam. Requires Vive, Rift, Valve Index or Windows Mixed Reality. ($89.95 AUD)

COMMERCIAL STORES

Via stores with content for specific HMDs, you can also find VR travel locations. For example, the oculus store lists travel and tourism apps for the OCULUS Quest, RIFT, GO, Gear VR. Enter “travel” into the search bar for each device.

Oculus Rift/Rift S

For example for the Oculus Rift you can visit the “travel” Pantheon Tallinn, Rome Reborn, Patagonia or in Australia, “Claustral Canyon” in Sydney NSW (Rift, Rift S)

Quest

Enter the quest part of the Oculus website and search for travel.

Examples:

Gear

Navigate to the Gear VR Section of the Oculus site and search for travel.

Specific Examples:

Google App store

Enter travel VR into the search bar or tour VR

  • Google Expeditions (free) The Expeditions app and Cardboard viewer and Cardboard Camera were built to bring immersive experiences to as many schools as possible.
  • Titans of Space Plus ($10) Titans of Space® is a short guided tour of our planets and a few stars in virtual reality. Works with Google Cardboard.

Apple App store (for Apple phones)

Viveport (HTC)

Viveport is an online app store for the primary VIVE and Oculus headsets/Windows and has some travel content VR apps

  • Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass is the first virtual reality (VR) experience presented by Musée du Louvre. On view from October 24, 2019 to February 24, 2020 in the Napoléon Hall, this VR experience is an integral component of the museum’s landmark Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, which commemorates the 500th anniversary of da Vinci’s death in France. An extended home version of the VR experience is now available for download through VIVEPORT and other VR platforms, including mobile VR on iOS and Android, for audiences across the globe.
  • AWAVENA “For the Amazonian Yawanawa, ‘medicine’ has the power to travel you in a vision to a place you have never been. Hushahu, the first woman shaman of the Yawanawa uses VR like medicine to open a portal to another way of knowing. This stunning VR experience, directed by the legendary Australian artist Lynette Wallworth, follows her Emmy Award-winning VR film “Collisions.””
  • Church art of Sweden.
  • A Glimpse into China.
  • Virtual Touring of DunHuang: Mogao Cave 61
  • MasterWorks: Journey Through History “Travel to three continents and visit some of the world’s most amazing places that span over 3000 years of human history. Discover the fate of the ancient capital of Thailand, the mysteries of a pre-Incan temple in the Peruvian Andes, the astonishing Native American cliff dwellings of Colorado, and the monument [al stone carvings of Mt Rushmore
  • “in South Dakota. The MasterWorks Museum transports you to four fully explorable environments where you can collect artifacts and learn from archaeologists and scientists as you unravel the mysteries of who built these amazing places and learn about the challenges they face today in a rapidly changing climate.” [now supports Tobii Eye-Tracking!]
  • The Holy City Documentary
  • Nefertari: Journey to Eternity
  • VR Angkor Wat Guided Tour – Cambodia

Current HMD costs/availability

Don’t have a suitable Head Mounted Display? Choice au have a useful guide.

Google Daydream standalone or smartphone VR

  1. Google Daydream View runs with an android phone (Galaxy, Pixel, Moto, LG, Zenfone etc) costing around $330-360 AUD on eBay
  2. Google Daydream Standalone VR (coming soon)

Rethinking Virtual Places

I have written a book on the above which looks like (touch wood) will go into production.

I have about 30 images in the planned book but am wondering if I can or should place there an image (8×11 inches, landscape orientation or portrait if there is an area for the cover page text). Do any of the below look ok? Or should I ask a game company for screenshot permission?

Chapter titles are:

1 A Potted History of Virtual Reality
2 Dead, Dying, Failed Worlds
3 Architecture: Places Without People
4 Theories of Place & Cyberspace
5 Rats & Goosebumps-Mind, Body & Embodiment
6 Games are not Interactive Places
7 Do Serious Gamers Learn From Place?
8 Cultural Places
9 Evaluating Sense of Place, Virtual Places & Virtual Worlds
10 Place-Making Interfaces & Platforms
11 Conclusion

Initial image: Microsoft HoloLens in the Duyfken showing mixed reality maps and 3D models (Mafkereseb Bekele PhD project); Ikrom Nishanbaev and Susan at Ballarat Heritage Weekend, Ballarat Town Hall; Ikrom and public member, Ballarat; the HoloLens demo’d at the WA State Archives..