Virtual context - relating media objects to their real world subjects
Virtual Reality (VR) is sometimes used to give the user an immersive, three-dimensional sense of a real-world setting. VR is also sometimes used for information visualization, taking advantage of the perceptual characteristics of VR to convey information. This paper presents the Dam Square Virtual Context, a Web-based VR that is a combination of both these uses. This VR presents mock-ups of both Dam Square in the city of Amsterdam and the city's largest museum, the Rijksmuseum. This VR conveys abstract information that includes the relationships between objects in the museum, such as paintings of Amsterdam cityscapes, and the corresponding objects in Dam Square itself, such as the buildings and neighborhoods shown in these paintings. It is thus a multimedia combining VR wireframes and bitmaps with still images and interface scripts. The principle behind this is that the user learns how to walk through the museum to view objects that together convey a unified view about Amsterdam, which the user can then later walk through.