Wednesday, February 02, 2005

CITRIS Digital Gallery Builder Summary

The CITRIS Digital Gallery Builder is a collaborative virtual gallery system for the humanities.
The main idea is that it allows users to easily build 3-dimensional virtual galleries which contain various types of media, and which can then be viewed and modified collaboratively by multiple people at once over the internet. This allows both for the creation of group curated spaces and for the viewers to actively engage the source material.

"Digital Galleries" are fairly simple structures emulating real-life exhibitions and collections. Visitors find themselves in a virtual space composed of various rooms, with 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional artifacts presented in the space. The user is represented by an avatar which they can navigate through the 3D space.

The CITRIS software is built on top of the Croquet system, which allows for group collaboration and interaction within the space. That is, several people may have avatars present in the space at one time, can interact with each other, and further can interact with the gallery itself. Examples of interaction include discussion, annotation of artifacts, adding hyperlinks to artifacts, as well as introducing new items into the gallery and modifying the layout of the gallery and contents.

Currently supported media types are:
Images (JPG, PNG, BMP)
Video (MPG)
Audio (MP3)
3D Objects (ASE)

Support for additional media types, especially 3D file formats, is planned.

While the alpha version is not yet publicly available for download, CITRIS is looking
for interested users who may want to provide feedback on the initial prototype.

Documentation and screenshots are at http://www.citris-uc.org/hosted/projects/ith/gallery,
and links to the user group, Croquet, etc are at http://www.citris-uc.org/hosted/projects/ith/gallery/#Feedback.