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The historic wooden model of Solomon’s Temple: 3D recording, modelling and immersive virtual reality visualisation

Thomas Peter Kersten (Photogrammetry & Laser Scanning Lab, HafenCity University Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany)
Felix Tschirschwitz (HafenCity University Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany)
Maren Lindstaedt (HafenCity University Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany)
Simon Deggim (HafenCity University Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany)

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2044-1266

Article publication date: 19 September 2018

Issue publication date: 13 November 2018




Recent advances in contemporary virtual reality (VR) technologies are going to have a significant impact on everyday life. Through VR it is possible to virtually explore a computer-generated environment as a different reality, and to immerse oneself into the past or in a virtual museum without leaving the current real-life situation. For such an ultimate VR experience, the user should only see the virtual world. Currently, the user must wear a VR headset which fits around the head and over the eyes to visually separate himself from the physical world. Via the headset images are fed to the eyes through two small lenses. The purpose of this paper is to present the generation of a virtual 3D model of the wooden model of Solomon’s Temple, located at the Hamburg museum (Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte), and its processing for data integration into the two game engines Unity and Unreal.


Cultural heritage (CH) monuments are ideally suited for both thorough multi-dimensional geometric documentation and realistic interactive visualisation in immersive VR applications. Additionally, the game industry offers tools for interactive visualisation of objects to motivate users to virtually visit objects and places.


The project has been carried out by the Photogrammetry & Laser Scanning Lab of the HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany to demonstrate an immersive and interactive visualisation using the VR System HTC Vive.


The workflow from data acquisition to VR visualisation, including the necessary programming for navigation and interaction, is described. Furthermore, the use (including simultaneous multiple users environments) of such a VR visualisation for a CH monument is discussed in this contribution.



The significant support of the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, especially Giesela Krömer and Dr Claudia Horbas during data acquisition are gratefully acknowledged. Furthermore, the authors would like to thank the Geomatics master students Lubomír Bucek, Arash Gharghi, Lara Preuß and Ismail Fata Robbany for the 3D modelling of the exterior environment of Solomon’s temple and the implementation in the Unreal Engine 4.14.0.


Kersten, T.P., Tschirschwitz, F., Lindstaedt, M. and Deggim, S. (2018), "The historic wooden model of Solomon’s Temple: 3D recording, modelling and immersive virtual reality visualisation", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 448-464.



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