Friday, August 23, 2013

Virtual Rome built from 17th-century map and computer gaming tool

In 1676, Giovanni Battista Falda published a detailed, bird's-eye map of Rome. Now, this celebrated map, along with Falda's architectural etchings and other historical materials have been transformed into a virtual, walkable experience of 17th-century Rome, using the computer gaming platform NVis360.

"I like to think of the way Falda drew Rome as almost anatomical," says Emory art historian Sarah McPhee, who headed up the project. "He wanted to show you the buildings in such crisp detail that they were essentially being taken apart on the anatomy table."

The NVis360 software, McPhee adds, "allows us eventually to take the layers apart and show the entire construction of a building. And that has huge potential for teaching and for understanding."

Watch the video, above, to learn more. You can use the gaming technology yourself to travel back to 17th-century Rome as part of the Michael C. Carlos Museum's special exhibition, "Antichita, Teatro, Magnifcenza: Renaissance and Baroque Images of Rome," from August 24 through November 17.

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