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    A Virtual Tour to the Inscriptions of the UNESCO World Heritage Site St. Michael in Hildesheim

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2015)

    London, UK, 7 - 9 July 2015


    Anna Neovesky & Julius Peinelt



    Museums, places of interest and cultural heritage sites can be often visited on the Internet. Panoramic images and virtual tours allow to access distant sites from home. But can this popular and touristic way of presentation also be used to present scientific information to a broad public? This question arose at the Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz regarding its project "Deutsche Inschriften Online" (German Inscriptions Online). The research project "Die Deutschen Inschriften" collects and redacts medieval and early modern inscriptions in Europe, in the areas that are today the Federal German Republic, the Republic of Austria and South Tyrol. The results are published in currently over 80 volumes, 33 of these are also accessible online. To bring the scientific edition of the inscriptions in its spatial context and make the scientific content easily accessible to the general public, a virtual tour was designed and implemented for the UNESCO World Heritage Site St. Michael in Hildesheim. The scientific approach was to make inscriptions as an important aspect of historic evidence understandable for the broad public. The thematic focus lies on the dominant figure of the early history of the church, Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim. In the tour, the user can navigate through the church. Interactive elements indicate the possibility to transfer to different viewpoints or to show information about specific points of interest - most of them inscriptions, but also information on other relevant (art-) historic artefacts. On click a pop-up opens, containing general information on the inscriptions, the full transcription and the translation of the inscription. Furthermore, images of the inscription as well as sketches and old photographs are provided. References to the critical editions of the inscriptions in "Deutsche Inschriften Online" provide an easy access to the full scientific information. An encapsulated generic software package of the tour will be released in June 2015. The software allows its users to build virtual tours for other buildings and sites without any knowledge of programming.


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