VR Past & Present
Anthropology, Archaeology, and Digital Humanities
Jeffrey Vadala PhD
Chimney Rock National Monument
Produced in a collaboration between David Hixson, Jeffrey Vadala, and Gerardo Gutierrez, this 3d virtual site is composed of drone photogrammetry data and SRTM satellite data. The Unreal Engine made it possible to accurately model the site of Chimney rock and a full 15 kilometers that surround the site. In our early prototype seen in the video here, the is already a fully explorable 3d VR interactive world.
This reconstruction includes small and large environmental details. More specifically, this VR reconstruction includes the expanse of the rugged landscape, smaller environmental details such as the steep path that leads up to the ritual Kiva structures on the site, the archaeological site built by ancestral Puebloans and even local flora.
All of this is designed to be explored and visualized in real-time. In the fall of 2020, a virtual reality version of this will be fully explorable in a free downloadable package. It will be available for PCs with and without VR headsets. We plan to support the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, and Windows Mixed Reality platforms.
Soon after this initial release, we will release an online tour version on a popular social VR platform. This version will be compatible with all the major headsets with the addition of the Oculus Quest. We will take advantage of the social features to provide free VR tours of the site that detail Chimney Rock's history of archaeological research while also providing users guidance for building their own virtual archaeological worlds.