суббота, 30 января 2016 г.

Paris historical views in 3D

Recently I was looking through the notes on my phone and came across the entry which dates back to my visit to Paris in September of 2014, to the day which I spent on the Île de la Cité where the Notre-Dame de Paris is situated. Just in front of the cathedral you can notice the stairs leading underground, to the Archaeological Crypt. This crypt is basically the museum built around the exhibits which are dating back to the times of Lutetia, the ancestor of Paris. Like many other European museums, the subterranean one contains interactive displays. There is a couple of them just in the midst of the Roman ruins. One of those displays presents 3D models of the Notre-Dame de Paris at different stages of construction. Touchscreen monitor allows you to zoom these models in and out and literally to fly around them. Near the monitor I found a tablet with the link on it. This link – Paris.3ds.com – is the contents of the above-mentioned note.

Being under the Parvis Notre-Dame – place Jean-Paul-II (it is the name of the square where both the Notre-Dame de Paris and the Archaeological Crypt are located), I thought that this website contains something like what I was watching on the monitors at the moment. I totally forgot about this note when I came back home. Finally, I checked it out. Well... it is much more than what I've seen staying amidst the ruins of Lutetia.

Not only Notre-Dame de Paris but many other famous Paris sights are reconstructed in the virtual space. On the screenshot below you can see only some of them:



Click upon any of the sights and after several seconds you will find yourself flying around it. You will be also proposed to listen to a short lecture (available in French and English) on its history.






Isn't it incredible?!

This website will meet you with several obstacles:

  • You will need to install a plugin or two.
  • It takes some time to get accustomed to the controls.

Good quality of internet connection is vital to experience the greatness of this portal. You'll also need to show your patience because each page may take a couple of minutes to load.

But it's worth the price!

When I tried to remember any other ways to "walk around" the beautiful European cities while sitting at home, I came up only with Assassin's Creed videogame series and Google Street View. Both of them have serious pitfalls. As for the first option, I believe, it's hard to concentrate on perceiving the beautiful while playing a stealth-action game. As for the second one, it lacks smooth moving (and thus reminds old-style quests if I continue making comparison with videogames). Moreover, Google Street View's time machine allows to go back in time only to 2007. But what if I want to walk around the Louvre in 1810? Oh, it's not a problem anymore :)

     

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