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Interactive 3D environments through the World Wide Web

Katerina Mania, Interactive 3D environments through the World Wide Web. PhD thesis. Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol . October 1996. No electronic version available.


Abstract When we walk through a town, we look around and build a mental map of the place. If someone tells us that we have to turn right at the next intersection, we can visualise this and get to where we want to go. There is a sense of continuity and we can see how quickly we progress towards our goal. Sometimes we get lost, but this is part of our experience and often that is how we discover new places and meet new people. We are creatures of sensation and everything has to reach us through our senses. If we want our global information infrastructure to be a mirror of our being, shouldn't it be perfectly clear? And shouldn't it try to resemble our thoughts? Well, it will try. The World Wide Web tries to find new ways of creating user interfaces. After its world wide explosion, it tries to understand human perception, it tries to get near to it. Knowledge interfacing for the Web is a new challenge, 3 dimensions for something that used to be static is a gift; Java is its road towards touch and contact. This thesis investigates the new developments which combine 3D Computer Graphics and Java/JavaScript towards interactive 3D environments for the World Wide Web. It was developed in Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Bristol, as a part of a project called "Virtual Building 3". By designing and implementing a whole web site which includes information for Hewlett Packard's new building, knowledge interfacing for the World Wide Web is analysed. 3D interactive environments are introduced and completed using the Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) combined with Java and JavaScript.

Bibtex entry.

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