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Title: Investigation into the impact of using virtual heritage to depict the historical city of Al Madinah
Author: Alharthi, Walaa
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 6583
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2015
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Al Madinah, in Saudi Arabia, is the second most holy city for Muslims throughout the world and has a long and rich heritage. However, most of the historical and traditional buildings, city walls and holy places have been replaced with modern structures. But, there have been several attempts, many by individuals, to preserve the heritage of Al Madinah. This thesis took an in-depth look at the history of Al Madinah, with emphasis on a 3D virtual environment which was produced as part of this project and inspired by a 3D model depicting the historical city of Al Madinah. First, this research examined the documentation of the historical city and identified its limitations by visiting location museums and evaluating the display mediums concerned with the heritage of Al Madinah. To contrast the traditional methods employed in local museums, eight museums in the UK were visited to explore their use of technology and digital devices. After these two initial steps, the main contribution focused on developing an effective installation to present the heritage of Al Madinah using first hand material. The Madinah Virtual Heritage (MVH) installation was developed in two main stages and tested for its usability. MVH provides a virtual reality experience by using an affordable head-mounted VR display, which would be especially beneficial for local museums with limited budgets. This thesis gives an overview of how to create a virtual heritage environment, and the principles can be applied to other fields. The findings show that there are limited resources available to understand the heritage of Al Madinah, especially because local museums are self-funded and use traditional media and redundant displays. The use of 3D is a possible solution to reconstruct the demolished buildings. Virtual reality brings interactivity and engagement to the installation, which could be used in local museums as it is now available in head-mounted format at an affordable cost.
Supervisor: Misek, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Q Science ; T Technology ; TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering