COOL IMAGES: Building Simulacra

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Science  25 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5385, pp. 1919
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5385.1919d

As anyone who's been to Athens knows, the Parthenon, built in the fifth century B.C., is a crumbling shadow of its former self. Not so on the Net, where Carolina Cruz-Neira, a virtual reality expert at Iowa State University in Ames, and her colleagues have used computer modeling to restore this temple—and a handful of other buildings symbolic of important architectural eras— to their full color grandeur. Net tourists can see still images, manipulate models, or take a fly-through movie tour of the monuments, ranging from a reconstruction of the circa-1500 B.C. Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut's temple to Paris's Notre Dame, revamped to its 12th century state. The tours are virtual in one other way: Unlike on a real visit to these famous places, on the Web you're the only one in the building.∼timmyg/miller/index.html

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