Photopolis: sightseeing in the National Archives

Having access to 10.000 photos is great, but that can also be quite overwhelming right? The Dutch National Archives asked us to come up with an organized and intuitive method of presenting the archived photos to the public. We came up with the perfect solution: Photopolis. This virtual city visualizes the archived pictures and brings them back to life!

The challenge

The VR experience is meant as an ‘eye catcher’ that gives visitors insight of the quantity and quality of the tremendous archived photo collection. The goal was to cluster the photos in one interactive place to really highlight certain selected subjects, showcasing the photo collection like never before.

Dennis Voorham, project manager for Photopolis: “Virtual reality gives us the opportunity to showcase our innovation. Virtual reality is hot: talking about is great, but experiencing it is even more amazing! It turned out even better than we expected and our visitors reacted positively. I am genuinely proud of the experience!”

The solution

A very broad and brisk virtual diorama of a city was custom made for the exhibition ‘Blikvangers’ (Eye catchers). Guests could visit this virtual city and experience the 10.000 photos with the Oculus Rift. Users can highlight the individual buildings corresponding to the different subjects, which then shows additional information of that group of pictures.

The setup consisted of two seats which were placed opposite to each other in the exhibition room, each equipped with VR goggles (Oculus Rift DK2). The user was able to navigate through Photopolis using an Xbox 360 controller. The exhibition emerges the visitors in the photo collection in an amazing and spectacular way!

The experience

Photopolis guides the user through the city that is made from photo collections. Each skyscraper or building houses pictures of a certain theme, such as the First World War, or a famous photographer. The higher the building, the more pictures of that theme are available. The experience was presented from February 2015 to July 2015 in the Dutch National Archives in The Hague. Photopolis takes you on a sightseeing tour that you’ve never had before!

Photopolis - Dutch National Archives

Want to learn more, or experience what Virtual Reality can do for you? - Contact us!