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Ancient Paris brought back to life with a virtual 3-dimensional experience

posted 1 Oct 2012, 06:01 by Mpelembe   [ updated 1 Oct 2012, 06:02 ]

A team of historians, scientists and computer graphics engineers offer the possibility for Parisians and tourists to take a virtual 3-dimensional stroll through Paris and through the 5000 years of its existence.

PARIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 29, 2012) (REUTERS) - Get ready to visit Paris through the ages with a new 3D experience from the comfort of your own home.

Thanks to advanced 3D technology, a team of historians and scientists have managed to reconstruct Paris through 5000 years, from the small village of Lutece to the construction of the Eiffel tower at the end of the 19th century.

All available resources were used, such as existing maps, drawings, archaeological discoveries, as well as buildings from the same period, when there was no primary source. Historians checked and approved data at each stage in the modelling process.

The aim was for the finished experience to be scientifically and architecturally accurate, while favouring an aesthetically pleasing result, so virtual visitors can enjoy pleasant and interactive tours of the virtual city.

As a launchpad, Dassault Systems, the company behind the project, invited Parisians on Saturday (September 29) to an hour long 180 degrees interactive visit of Paris through its history shown on nine giant screens.

"We also wanted to pay homage to the French cultural heritage by working with historians, archaeologists, scientists and engineers to create this virtual experience of Paris in the past from the Gaullic Opidum to Universal exhibition of 1889. This experience will evolve in time, we start now with ten monuments and our goal, because virtual reality is like living matter, is to enrich this experience," said the head of Dassault Systems interactive strategies Mehdi Tayoubi.

Parisians gathered in front of the Paris townhall for the virtual experience taking them through the main stages of their capital's construction and destruction.

"Of course the space in front of the Paris townhall could not accommodate all the parisians this evening. But if they go on the internet on, they will be able to discover the same application of simulated reality and to choose their own visit themselves, their own stroll in this reconstituted Paris from the past, and they can also do the same thing from their electronic tablet," Tayoubi added.

And for those who couldn't be present, they will be able to organise their own historical visit of the city of lights thanks to a web-based and an electronic tablet application.

From the comfort of a their homes, people will be able to freely wander through several of Paris' landmark monuments, such the Chateau du Louvre which has now disappeared under what is known as the Louvre Museum.

Dassault Systems supplies various industrial sectors such as the automotive, aerospace, consumer goods industries with 3D modelling, simulation and experimental software to design many types of products, test their feasibility, ergonomics, manufacturing and maintenance.

The website is accessible at