Travel through 2,000 years of Paris’ history with interactive 3D model

[From Mashable, where the story includes a 0:55 minute video]

Travel Through 2,000 Years of Paris’ History With Interactive 3D Model

October 5, 2012 by Zoe Fox

If you’re a fan of time travel, exploring cities, history or virtual reality experiences, you’re going to love the latest project from Dassault Systèmes. With the help of historians and archeologists, Dassault has created Paris 3d, an interactive model that transports any Internet user through two millennia of the city’s history.

See how the French capital developed since its Roman conquest in 52 BC until the present day. Witness the construction of the Bastille and Notre Dame, navigate through winding stone streets in the middle ages and visit the 1889 World’s Fair to see the revelation of the Eiffel Tower.

“This is the first time we have a digital model of Paris, and this virtual model is a big advantage over what we’d had in the past,” says Mehdi Tayoubi, VP of design and experimental strategy at Dassault Systèmes, told Mashable. “It can be adapted as archeologists make new discoveries. It’s a kind of living world; we’re going to add other monuments, make other representations.”

Users can take guided tours from the Paris 3D web browser or on the corresponding iPad app.

The experience was revealed Saturday night in Paris as part of a giant virtual reality show, featuring nine screens with different clips of the city during various periods. Some 15,000 Parisians attended the launch.

“We demonstrated that virtual reality is a real tool for research, education and cultural exploration for the general public,” Mehdi says.

Most of the documents used to model for Paris 3D were 2D drawings or black and white photograpgs, so the archeologists needed to do some guess work.

Before creating Paris 3D, which the Dassault team spent two years building, the created Giza 3D, released in May.

“The Paris 3D project is logical continuation of the Giza 3D project,” Mehdi says. “It was a great opportunity for us as a French company to collaborate, lead a scientific project and see Paris in the past like never before.”

Mehdi says Dassault now receives requests from several cities to create virtual reality versions of their histories, to be used in documentary movies, set up in museums and to add a new dimension to mobile apps.

Using the project’s archeological findings, Dassault has also released an augmented reality book and documentary, both called Paris: The Great Saga. The book lets readers — when wearing enclosed stereoscopic glasses — discover aerial views and the insides of monuments. The Paris City Council and the Carnavelet Museum, dedicated to the city’s history, helped create the documentary.

Is virtual reality is a good way to teach history? Let us know what you think of Paris 3D in the comments.

SEE ALSO: Visit the Pyramids of Giza With This Interactive 3D Site


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