background image
The ARCHEOGUIDE project provides new approaches for accessing information at
cultural heritage sites through the development of a system based on advanced IT.The
techniques used in this system include augmented reality, 3D-visualisation, mobile com-
puting and multi-modal interaction.The project ran for 36 months between 2000 and
2002 with a budget of
1.5 million, and was pursued by a consortium of European pri-
vate companies, research institutes and public authorities.These organisations and their
roles were as follows:
- INTRACOM (Greece) handled telecommunications and networking, multimedia
databases, mobile computing, AR platforms, and system integration;
- Fraunhofer IGD (Germany) provided real-time image processing and video tracking;
- ZGDV (Germany) supplied AR platforms and rendering engines;
- CCG (Portugal) were responsible for avatar animations;
- A&C2000 (Italy) provided the Geographic Information Systems and GPS;
- Post Reality (Greece) dealt with 3D modelling and multimedia publishing;
- The Hellenic Ministry of Culture (Greece) handled archaeological data, system
installation, and monitored use inside the test site of ancient Olympia.
The close collaboration between personnel from various disciplines, including engi-
neers, computer scientists, graphics artists, archaeologists and architects ensured the tech-
nical, artistic, and scientific soundness of the final system and validated the information
presented to its users.
ARCHEOGUIDE provides a special visualisation device which offers a choice
between transparent AR glasses, allowing the user to see the natural environment with
the computer graphics superimposed at appropriate positions, or opaque AR binoculars
which provide the same experience in video see-through mode. Both devices provide
a realistic experience wherein the user feels immersed in the augmented world, but at
the same time has continual visual contact with the `real' environment.The synthetic
information is automatically projected onto the visualisation device based on the user's
location and orientation. Using the tracking data, the system can identify the item at
which the user is looking and adapt and reposition the synthetic image accordingly.The
accuracy of this operation is typically of the order of a few pixels for an 800x600 image
displayed on the visualisation device.
ARCHEOGUIDE features the following types of VR presentations:
- Virtual Reality (VR) navigation through a 3D model of the archaeological sites. All
main monuments are reconstructed, and avatar animations are added.This is experi-
enced on a flat screen;
- Augmented Reality (AR) touring, wherein the real scene is augmented with recon-
structed monuments and virtual life animations.This is experienced through AR
glasses or special binoculars;
- Mixed Reality (MR) presentations, wherein the real scene is augmented with recon-
structed monuments, but can be seen on a flat screen which is automatically scrolled
in synchronisation with the user's own orientation.
Virtual Reality and
Display Technologies
This case study is based on an email questionnaire completed by Dr Vassilios Vlahakis of the Development
Programs department of INTRACOM S.A. Subsequent background information has been gleaned from
the ARCHEOGUIDE Website.