Reconstructing Leonardo’s ideal city – from handwritten codexes to webtalk-II: a 3D collaborative virtual environment system

Publication of 2001 Jul 1 – VAST ’01 Proceedings of the 2001 conference on Virtual reality, archeology, and cultural heritage

Collaborative Virtual Environments are a class of desktop applications that allow the user to explore a 3D environment, being aware of the presence, the position and the activity of other users, which share the same space. In virtual environments oriented to Cultural Heritage contents, it is thus possible to envision collaboration between users, focused to learning in an innovative and intriguing way. While several CVE frameworks are present both in commercial and research contexts, most of them overlook the issue of regulating in an ordered fashion the collaboration between users to support their learning. The WebTalk framework developed at Politecnico di Milano aims at supporting CSCL via complex collaboration between peers and teachers connected to a Virtual Environment.Based on the experience of our previous collaborative 3D projects for museums, we recently implemented a new environment, the reconstruction of the ‘Ideal City’ of Leonardo da Vinci, excerpted from various portions of his manuscripts. The curatorial side of the project was led by the National Science Museum ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ in Milan, Italy, while a team of modelers and programmers used our new Collaborative Framework, named WebTalk-II, to deploy the application. The Collaborative 3D Virtual Ideal City will be soon online at the National Science Museum’s WebSite.
The project website is at the following URL