Explore 2000 Years Of History On 3-D Map Of Paris

Explore Paris in 3D over 2000 years of historyHistory buffs and virtual travelers have a new Internet time sink that is sure to kill hours at a time. Dassault Systèmes, a company that specializes in making unique 3-D virtual reality simulations is painstakingly recreating the city of Paris using their advanced computer modeling systems. But not content just to show the City of Lights in its current form, the company is recreating it at various stages throughout history, allowing us to explore how it evolved and grew over time.

The virtual city, which can be accessed by clicking here, traces the origins of Paris back to the Roman conquest in 52 B.C. Over the centuries it developed into one of the largest and most vibrant cities on the planet and all of that plays out here in this digital model, which lets you select from several different eras. Landmarks such as Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower pop into the landscape as time passes, giving us an unprecedented look at a living city that changed over the ages to meet the needs of its citizens.

Paris 3D can be explored from a web browser and requires the user to download a special plug-in to make it work. I had a few issues getting it to run on my Mac using Safari, so you may want to try another browser when giving this a go. There is also an iPad app available but it is a more constrained experience. Both versions are fascinating to play with and any fan of Paris will enjoy the opportunity to stroll its streets and explore the city’s history.


Airports To Implement Virtual Avatars To Help Tourists




Virtual reality is becoming part of real life, as three New York-area airports adopt virtual avatars into their customer service program. The avatars are part of an expansive plan to enhance customer travel experience by the Port Authority. Starting in early July, JFK, Newark Liberty and LaGuardia will be the first airports in North America to implement the virtual avatar assistants. These hologram-like workers will provide automated, basic information, like directions to airport gates, shopping advertisements and security checkpoint notifications. And to make them look like real staff, they will wear the signature red coats of the live customer service agents.

“The Port Authority’s three major airports – JFK, Newark Liberty and LaGuardia – are gateways to the world, serving over a hundred million fliers annually,” said David Samson, Port Authority Chairman. “Ensuring the satisfaction of these customers is a foremost priority, and these initiatives move us closer to achieving that objective.”

These basic avatars are just the beginning, as future plans include having interactive virtual agents that can answer questions.

For a better idea of the technology, check out the video above.