Imagine you’re exploring the historic center of a city with its impressive town houses, churches and monuments. What if you could just use your mobile to find out about the historic buildings around you, with detailed visual information about how they were built and the story behind them, making history come alive before your eyes?
This project on four-dimensional research and communication of urban history aims to make just this sort of scenario possible. Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, it is a cooperation project between the Technische Universität Dresden and University of Würzburg.
The aim is to investigate and develop methods and technologies to transfer extensive repositories of historical media and their contextual information into a three-dimensional spatial model, with an additional temporal component. This will make content accessible to different target groups, researchers and the public, via a 4D browser. A location-dependent augmented-reality representation can be used as an information base, research tool, and to communicate historical knowledge.
The data resources available for this research include extensive holdings of historical photographs of Dresden, which have documented the city over the decades, and digitized map collections on the Deutsche Fotothek (German photographic collection) platform. These will lay the foundation for a prototype model which will give users a virtual experience of historic parts of Dresden.