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Virtual Duke and Digital Durham 1-2-3 (2010-12)

2011: The Virtual Duke project focuses on modeling the Duke campus in Google Sketchup and places models in Google Earth with rich annotations. Students also created informative video tours through the content. As the instructor of these course and independent study opportunities I bring together students collaborators with real “clients” in order to produce a usable, and hopefully sustainable “product” for some part of the larger community. In Fall 2011 Duke rolled out a new interactive campus map system that took part of its inspiration from the ISIS 200 Research Capstone students’ work.

Digital Durham 1-2-3 partners with historian Trudi Abel, whose Digital Durham archival project formed the basis of the “Walltown Neighborhood History Project” collaboration with DukeEngage in Summer 2010, as well as a class we co-taught in Spring 2011, and another MALS class she taught in Fall 2011,a ll of which activated Google Earth mapping as an accessible way to think about spatial history and the potential for map-based forms of academic authorship.

Digital Durham 3.0 is an augmented reality project designed to embody the presence of the past. It builds upon the Digital Durham archive, as well as the Digital Durham mapping work we have done. The 3.0 version attempts to highlight the presence of the past through embodied experience of a physical space through “augments” using the Layar augmented reality platform plus archival and new material annotating the real world environment.

Our goal is to create a rich set of historical narratives that can be accessed both in real time by individuals in Durham, and online through a web-based virtual environment. Ultimately we would like to create a system where different “views” of the same core database of information can take place from within various applications and technology-mediated experiences. Working towards the platform that would help us achieve this is part of the goals of the FHI GreaterThanGames Lab, which I co-direct.

Our Durham work is just one aspect of the approach. In 2011-12 we are also co-developing a “two cities” project with our collaborators at Jacobs University in Bremem, Germany, as well as an AR project in Venice as part of the Wired! Lab’s Visualizing Venice project.