Project Jigsaw:
The Future and VRML in Teaching and Learning

  • VRML offers the possibility for people on the web to "visit" monuments electronically that they might be unable to visit in person;
  • Although we might expect that "photorealism" might continue to improve as machines and other equipment become more powerful, we should bear in mind Antonio Canova's comment when somebody thought to compliment him for producing a realistic sculpture: Then I have failed, for my aim was to produce a work of art!;
  • Thus we should concentrate instead on the facilities the web offers that are additional to an actual visit, namely:
    1. worldwide 24-hour availability;
    2. hotlinks to comparable sites;
    3. ability through internat hotlinks to examine texts/stories associated wih the stupa;
    4. provision of clickable maps, to set the stupa in its context;
    5. Exceptionally, because we have the photographs taken before the Hidden Basement was re-covered, we can prevent a view of the stupa that has not been seen for 70 years!
  • It seems unlikely that intricate models such as that of Borobudur can ever be created "automatically", and hence that the cost of production can come down sufficiently to make them universally useful and satisfying in teaching and learning (a direct comparison is with the production of video games, where costs are amortised by economies of scale and potentially huge sales);