The Hidden Waterfall City (HWC)

“Increasingly sophisticated immersive, interactive visualization technologies are now coupled to rapid expansions in ultra-high-resolution cultural heritage datasets” (Kenderdine, 2015). This is what we have addressed in this research project.

Around 150 years ago, a group of people decided to separate themselves from the rest of the world for both sociocultural and safety reasons. They established a city on top of a mountain. The city was hidden to the outside world with only one invisible underwater entrance. However, the city was invaded by the early 1900s as its secret was revealed. Since then, it was left abandoned. During the 1950s, a group of archaeologists started excavation and found new information about the city and its history. We have used the findings from the 1950s investigation to digitize the entire city. Hypotheses:

  1. No limitation: We can continue to digitize the entire world i.e. HWC.
  2. Adequate knowledge: We have enough data available about HWC
  3. The concept will remain the same: The future will only make immersive experiences more sophisticated.

After the digitization of HWC was finished, we decided to deliver it in form of a museum linked to the city itself. However, there were so many ways to establish the interaction system. So, we decided to conduct several small user studies at each stage to examine the best alternative for each interaction. Our objective was to create a non-linear experience which is centred around users. Therefore, they have total freedom in this experience. What you’re about to see is HWC (v1.0.). In the future we will conduct a larger user study to introduce more interaction to the experience as well as involving HWC culture and lifestyle e.g. characters, etc.

HWC was presented/experienced for the first time during the Digital Heritage 2018: 3rd International Congress & Expo, 26-30 October 2018, San Francisco, USA. For more technical details please read ‘A Conceptual Human–Centered Approach to Immersive Digital Heritage Site/Museum Experiences: The Hidden Waterfall City’: https://doi.org/10.1109/DigitalHeritage.2018.8810110

Researcher: Human Esmaeili