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Developing a virtual reality interface for an integrated project database environment

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4 Author(s)
G. Aouad ; Dept. of Surveying, Salford Univ., UK ; T. Child ; F. Marir ; P. Brandon

Explores the potential of using virtual reality (VR) as an interface for an integrated project database using the World Wide Web. VRML (Virtual Reality Modelling Language), which is a Web-based standard, is explored as a means of remotely interrogating information stored within an integrated database. VRML allows the creation of 3D views and worlds which can be explored in real time. This paper describes the steps taken to link the OSCON integrated database to a VRML environment. It addresses the issue of using VR as the medium for the remote accessing of information within an integrated environment. For instance, site engineers can query the database from their sites if they have access to a modem and the Internet. Technologies are now available which can be used to this end. The Internet and its facilities should be exploited for the benefits of better management and retrieval of construction information. VR has often been looked on as a visualisation tool. This paper puts the argument that VR should be used as a user interface. For instance, the user should interact with a 3D column in VR rather than a column in a traditional database environment. This allows the construction practitioners better access to information which will motivate them to use integrated databases. In addition, VR should be used as a vehicle for classifying information. The user should be able to look at the design, costing, time planning and facilities management views according to his/her requirements. This may prove helpful in projecting information from a project integrated database

Published in:

Information Visualization, 1997. Proceedings., 1997 IEEE Conference on

Date of Conference:

27-29 Aug 1997