The reconstruction of lost urban worlds in 3D

The reconstruction of lost urban worlds in 3D

– Documentation and approaches in two Danish cases
Den digitale udgivelsesrække 5 (Digital Writings 5)
Søren Bitsch Christensen
Paper, 11th International Conference on Urban History, EAUH, Prague, 29 August-1 September 2012

Hent/download PDF her.



At the Danish Centre for Urban History two virtual worlds have been reconstructed in 3Dfashion in recent years. The two projects are in many ways similar, but they differ significantly from each other in the sense that one of the worlds – a typical Danish 1830 town – has not completely disappeared, but has many visible physical remains from which a reconstruction was built, while the other – a big national exhibition that took place in Aarhus in 1909 – was a temporary installation, of which nothing has been kept. On the other side, the 1909 exhibition was by nature better documented by photographs and other modern media.

The models were made by regular architect Cad 3D software – the Virtual Town of 1830 by TurnTool, the Virtual National Exhibition by Virtools. They require both a plug-in.

The paper addresses the different approaches that were selected to bridge the requirements of the reconstruction of a physical environment in which no ‘black spots’ are allowed and the reality of a fragmented documentation. Another issue for debate is the question of how to enrich a virtual world with pieces of meta-information that are not related directly to the reconstructed world, but for instance could be added by incorporating audio guides or virtual theme walks and other navigation tools on the web site.

Both projects were carried out at the Danish Centre for Urban History with grants from the Danish Agency for Cultural Heritage.


See the Web sites:

The Virtual Town of 1830 / Den Virtuelle Købstad

The Virtual National Exhibition 1909 / Den Virtuelle Landsudstilling 1909