Virtual Reconstruction of Historical Monuments Supported by MACI

A professor of urban planning at the University of Calgary is uncovering significant advances in the use of computer visualization. Dr Richard Levy, working in collaboration with Dr Walter Jamieson, director of the Urban Management Program, at the Asian Institute of Technology and professor at the University of Calgary, is leading the development of 3D computer visualizations in urban planning.  Simulating the reconstruction of urban sites through high performance computer visualizations, Dr Levy has been able to successfully reconstruct the twelfth century temple site of Phimai, Thailand.

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A United Nations World Heritage site, Phimai is a walled complex of reconstructed temples, libraries and ancillary structures. It is considered one of most important Khmer monuments in Thailand and one of the most delicately detailed historical monuments to be virtually recreated. 


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The reconstruction of the temple site in Phimai, Thailand is innovative in the area computer visualization and urban management because Levy’s 3D models promote a systemized approach to heritage resource management. Dr Levy’s developments in computer visualization will definitely influence how archaeologists, historians and museum curators can use this non-evasive environment for testing reconstruction scenarios of these virtual worlds, while offering the public access too important historical monuments without the dangers of excessive visitation.

Much interest has been generated from the success of this temple reconstruction. Not only does this breakthrough affect the areas of urban management and archaeology but it also is opening up many visualization opportunities in other disciplines. Dr Levy will be working with Dr Larry Katz and Dr Murray Maitland of the University of Calgary’s Kinesiology department where the trio will develop a virtual reality simulator to be used in sports training.

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Reconstructing 3D models and images of this quality and detail require extensive computing capabilities, provided by the MACI facilities at the University of Calgary.

rmlevy@ucalgary.ca
http://www.ucalgary.ca/EV/designresearch/projects/phimai/index.htm

Selected Publications

R. Levy. Virtual Reality and the Urban Landscape, Banff New Media Institute, Banff, Alberta. 2000.

G. Wiessner, and R. M. Levy. Application of Computer Visualisation Techniques in Project Negotiation: The Nonthaburi Canal Development Project in Thailand,EAROPH Proceeding, Seoul, Korea 2000.   

R. Levy, Z. Wang, and D. Hunt. D. Virtual Reality, A Tool for Measuring the Attitudes of Users of Light Rail Transit Stations, Abstract, Environmental Research Design Association, Proceedings, 2000, p. 158.

R. Levy. The Use of Computer Technology in Archaeological Interpretation: Reconstruction of the Temple Site at Phimai, International Conference on Sustainable Community Tourism Destination Management, Asian Institute of Technology, November 29, 2000.

R. Levy.  Computer Visualization and Physical Design, International Conference on Sustainable Community Tourism Destination Management, Asian Institute of Technology, November 29, 2000.

R. Levy.  Virtual Reality and the Urban Landscape, Living Architectures, Designing for Immersion & Interaction, Banff New Media Institute, Banff, Alberta, September 23, 2000.