Ghost City Chicago (Spring 2001) IPRO 355
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The IPRO team will develop a prototype for a computer graphic reconstruction of the built environment of Chicago. Beginning with the ghost city -- those buildings and environments which have been destroyed -- students will prepare a development plan for the necessary technologies to create, develop, distribute, market and protect this project as they make it available to a wide audience through appropriate computer technologies and media. It is now possible to recreate, in computer graphic form, the city of Chicago at any time in its past. Making the growth of the city visible would permit anyone to discover for oneself what it was like to be alive at anytime in the city's history - from Indian encampment to high-rise apartment. This would be visual -providing the ability to see the difference in light levels during different kinds of air quality or as the result of different kinds of artificial illumination (candle, lamp, gas or electric light); and it would also be aural, providing indications of sound, whether from the livestock near the stockyards, ships moving in the river, hearing hymns sung in a church, or the sound of workers walking at a shift change. It will be possible to move anywhere in the city and enter any building or environment. It will be possible to see the water and sewer systems being extended across the prairie, and then see the opening of streets, followed by the construction of buildings - houses, apartments, shops, schools, churches - along the newly opened streets. It will be possible to shop at the department stores of the Loop, or visit one's doctor, dentist or attorney in the Loop or one's own neighborhood; and at the same time see how thosevery structures developed and changed over time. This is an opportunity to apply well-understood ideas about the virtual city to the past. There are several requirements for the success of a large scale project: determination of how best to present the material (Web, CD, DVD, I-Max), selection of a common computer graphic language (VRML, Auto-Cad, Form-Z, Microstation), design of a robust and adaptive information technology architecture to accommodate the appropriate array of emerging and evolving computer technologies (hardware, software, distribution modes), development of thoughtful strategic business and marketing plans, and management of intellectual property. This is a continuation of a Spring 2000 IPRO project that has made significant progress in laying the foundation for continued work by new IPRO teams.