Jamestown Virtual Viewers

Historic Jamestown stands on the site of the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. D J Willrich Ltd was invited by Haley Sharpe Design to deliver a cutting-edge interpretive tool to re-animate the archaeological site, without recourse to problematic reconstructions and costly large-scale live interpretation.

The resulting ‘virtual viewers’ allow visitors exploring the site to compare the real-time landscape with a computer-generated version of its historic appearance, and to eavesdrop on dramatised scenes within this ‘virtual’ history.

The viewer provides a live view of the fort site as it is today and superimposes the historical appearance of the Fort in the early 17th century on top. As visitors explore the fort with the viewer, they discover ‘hotspots’ — buildings or components that they can explore in greater depth. GIS mapping techniques were used along with archaeological and historic information to accurately create the virtual recreation of the 17th century site as a three-dimensional model. The model is very accurate and overlays on the real view in perfect perspective.

Visitors not only enter the virtual world of Jamestown, but they also meet some of its past people in the form of actors using replica objects and superimposed on the virtual environment. This way they hear about daily lives and significant events that shaped the foundations of this new American society. This complements and enhances the current provision of costumed ‘character’ interpretation tours of the site.

There are two viewer locations, the first encountered by visitors overlooks the Newtowne site as they make their way from the visitor centre around the site to the Archaearium (an exhibition of the archaeology found on the site) and home to two more viewers looking across the original fort and allowing visitors to see how the view would have been with the fort in place.

Jamestown Virtual Viewers
A slave screen lets everyone see what is on the virtual viewer.
Jamestown Virtual Viewers
Fly to a hotspot on the horizon to see an historical recreation of the wharf.
Jamestown Virtual Viewers
Computer generated historical recreation of Jamestown Fort.
Multimedia Design
System Installation
Servicing & Support
Jamestown Visitor Centre, Williamsburg, Virginia USA
Haley Sharpe Design
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