Virtual Reality Brings the Hagia Sofia to Life

The trend toward virtual reality exhibits will give many more people access to the museum experience according to a recent BBC article. 3-D computer software modeling in the hands of experts may bring the museum experience to millions who would never be able to travel to the site. A recent project involving two Turkish mosques, the Aya Sofya and Hagia Sophia, both dating from the 6th century, lets viewers tour the sites in realtime. Visitors to the website can use their mouse to zoom in and out, viewing mosaics, furniture and other details.

The project is part of an ongoing efforts by a team from the University of Geneva to "bring historical monuments to life." The programmers want to give the impression of going back in time.

"The technology allows you to restore endangered sites, with the atmosphere and ambience of those buildings at that era," said Nedjma Cadi-Yazli of Miralab at the University of Geneva.

To see screen shots from the site or read the entire article, click on the header above.