EXPLORING CULTURAL HERITAGE COLLECTIONS IN IMMERSIVE ANALYTICS: CHALLENGES, BENEFITS, AND A CASE STUDY USING VIRTUAL REALITY
Keywords: Virtual Reality, Immersive Analytics, Visual Analytics, Data Exploration, 3D User Interfaces, Interaction Design, User Experience, Cultural Heritage, Interactive Archives and Collections
Abstract. Immersive analytics, at the intersection of visual analytics and virtual reality has recently gained some traction. Taking a similar approach, VaRt-DataExplorer project is concerned with exploration of data spaces in Virtual Reality (VR) in the context of cultural heritage collections. Our main objective is to facilitate better a understanding and insight into spatially referenced cultural heritage data sets. Within the scope of the project, this goal would be achieved by providing potentially ‘intuitive’ forms of real time interaction with the data, and rendering quickly recognizable visuospatial representations to offer more context to cultural artifacts. In particular, a spatial context is provided to the viewers by referencing geographical aspects of the data. Due to the incomplete and imprecise nature of data in this domain, thoughtful attention is given to visualization fidelity. Our initial user study suggests that using an immersive VR offers benefits for the exploration task for the viewer and the user experience provided by VaRt-DataExplorer has received high ratings.