Visualizing the Paphos Gate in Nicosia: A Virtual Environment for Education and Learning

"Visualizing the Paphos Gate in Nicosia: A Virtual Environment for Education and Learning" is part of the Cyprus Institute’s new cultural heritage research initiative. The project is aligned with research project RIVEEL3D (Realtime Immersive 3D Virtual Environments for Education and Learning) to utilize virtual environments to study and analyze historical sites, starting with the Paphos Gate. The specific case-study project contributes to the on-going study of the Green Line of Nicosia in Cyprus that still divides the city, and proposes the analysis of the use of public spaces in contested urban environments. The current stage of development involves a stand-alone data navigation application prototype that can be used by researchers at CyI to explore digital reconstructions of virtual territories and other datasets, and to help users understand the cultural heritage analytical and education goals laid out by the CyI. ''Visualizing the Paphos Gate in Nicosia: A Virtual Environment for Education and Learning'' will be occupied with the simulation of the chronological phases of the structure of the Paphos Gate and the study of the impact these transformations of the Gate had on the organization of the public space of Nicosia. This digital reconstruction, while being addressed to a lay audience, requires the involvement of a wide platform of professionals (archaeologists, architects, historians, computer engineers, visualization specialists, etc.) for its production, and it is in their collaboration that innovation lies. This is exactly where the use of the Virtual Environment for sharing, communication and collaboration, will be of crucial significance for the analysis of social behaviour, the role of monuments of cultural heritage in the city, data collection of circulation and usage of public space. The overarching goal of this work-in-progress is the development of a virtual laboratory of urban exploration that will test how the interaction with, and use of, cultural heritage monuments can affect the perception, appropriation and manipulation of social and cultural identity. In the long term, this research project will contribute, through the analysis of the data collected, insights and tacit knowledge regarding possible planning strategies and the impact of potential interventions in the future urban-scape of historic city centers.

Project under development