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Simulated 3D on the web
Online exhibitions in 3 dimensions:The Philadelphia Museum, Constantin Brancusi's
Mademoiselle Pogany <>
Reconstructing worlds:The Museum of Reconstructions
Creating new worlds:The Virtual Museum of Art El Pais
3D technologies and standards
Today, we see a range of standards emerging that support 3D development.The most
important standards are listed below:
In the near future, we will see more and more 3D experiences of cultural heritage on the
web and on site. For Tony Gill, Programme Officer at the Research Libraries Group,USA,
users and technology are ready for an explosion of 3D:"Most industry pundits agree that
the Web 3D revolution is now long overdue.Typical desktop computers are now sufficiently
powerful to render reasonably detailed 3D models in real time, network bandwidth is
improving all the time, users are increasingly sophisticated and demanding, and there is a
growing standards framework that will support collaborative development. All that is needed
now is the killer app the application that transforms it from an esoteric gimmick into an
indispensable business tool. Perhaps the presentation of cultural information on the web is
that killer app." (Gill, 2001)
A glimpse in the more distant future: Augmented Reality (AR)
Another glimpse into the toolbox of the future is augmented reality which is a marriage
between virtual reality and reality. At the heart of this presentation technology is a pair of
eyeglasses, the AR headset. Developed by Hughes Research Laboratories in the mid-90s,
the headset works with a visual-data display similar to those projected into the helmets of
Java 3D
Extensible 3D
Family of related standards and technologies
approved by W3C-Consortium
Latest release of the Virtual Reality Mo-
delling Language; ISO/IEC open standard
Collection of classes that define a high-level
application-programming interface for
interactive 3D development within Java
ISO/IEC approved standard that defines
how digital audio and video media can be
encoded, compressed, streamed for efficient
delivery over networks, and reassembled for
Standards development initiative to capture
the best capabilities of VRML 97 and allow
them to be expressed in XML
Not a 3D image file format, but uses an
interactive set of compressed 2D still images
that are stitched together with a special
authoring tool to simulate 3D effect
True interactive 3D over
the web
True interactive 3D, but
demands browser plug-ins
Interactive scenes in 2
and 3 dimensions
Lightweight version of
More widely used today;
simulated 3D