Keywords: Virtual learning environment, guided tour, live guide, VRML, JAVA, virtual monuments, multimedia
Incorporating interactive multimedia, VRML, and real-time video and
audio conferencing into a multi-user, object-oriented framework to create
a collaborative virtual learning environment is one scenario for killer
applications towards emerging telecommunication infrastructures, such as
the Internet 2 or the current Internet enhanced with QoS mechanisms. In
this paper such an open framework for enabling rapid prototyping and delivery
of virtual learning experiences through the Internet is presented. Towards
this end cultural heritage content is exploited. VRML and Java are
the key technologies. Based on this framework, the Enigma application is
presented which enables groups of users to monitor multimedia-rich virtual
guided tour sessions inside 3D representations of archaeological sites.
A live guide controls these sessions so that all users have the same view
of the content. Directions for further research based on the conducted
work are presented.