Standards in Virtual Worlds: Virtual Travel Use Case Metaverse1 Project

Autores: José Manuel Cabello and José Pernia and Antonio Collado and Jorde Janer and Samuel Cruz-Lara and David Oyarzun and Albert Armisen and Roland Geraerts

Fecha: 15.07.2011

Journal of Virtual Worlds Research


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Abstract

Nowadays, tourism has become a very important industry in the international economy. Information and communication technologies are in constant development; they progress worldwide and across sectors. Their applications in tourism and tourist resources is rapidly increasing, reaching new, innovative and sometimes amazing results in terms of effectiveness, productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction. Exploring the interaction between technologies and tourism is difficult and challenging. Specifically, using virtual world technologies as a new means of information for potential tourists is a big challenge where the actual methods, goals and needs still need to be exactly identified. Within the Metaverse1 project, Innovalia Spain (in association with other European partners) has created a 'technologies laboratory' for the tourism sector within a virtual world; this laboratory is called the Virtual Travel Use Case. A new island has been implemented in Second Life, as the playfield of the Virtual Travel Use Case. This island represents the hot spots of Gran Canaria (one of the seven islands making up the archipelago of Canary Islands, Spain). This is the starting point for analysing, testing and validating developments of tourism in virtual worlds, and the application part of the related research activity. The main technologies implemented in the Virtual Travel Use Case are listed below. They aim at making the tourists' experience in a virtual world even more interesting. UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA has developed a platform for authoring and rendering Soundscapes (sound ambiances) in virtual worlds. INRIA Talaris has developed multilingual tools for tourists within virtual worlds, the MLIF: The Multi Lingual Information Framework for virtual worlds. UTRECHT UNIVERSITY has researched and developed the Path and Camara Planning tools in virtual worlds. In addition to these four technologies, we contributed to the MPEG-V Standard. In this respect, the work of VICOMTECH focused on defining the attributes that can identify each avatar as unique, and afterwards, a high-level XML-based specification of these attributes has been created. The specification has been called ADML (Avatar Definition Markup Language) and it has been included into the new MPEG-V standard for interoperability between virtual worlds. IMS has designed and implemented the Video streaming model within virtual worlds. This paper aims at analyzing why and how virtual worlds can become an important platform for tourism-oriented areas to promote a destination in general, and their local heritage and tourist added-value services in particular. The document will also introduce the design of the first prototypes and the validation results of the four specific technologies tested at the Virtual Travel Use Case (Soundscape generation, Multilinguality, Video streaming and Path and Camera Planning). Finally, the contribution to the MPEG-V standard will also be detailed in the paper.

BIB_text

@Article {
author = {José Manuel Cabello and José Pernia and Antonio Collado and Jorde Janer and Samuel Cruz-Lara and David Oyarzun and Albert Armisen and Roland Geraerts},
title = {Standards in Virtual Worlds: Virtual Travel Use Case Metaverse1 Project},
journal = {Journal of Virtual Worlds Research},
volume = {4, number 3},
keywds = {
Virtual Worlds, Tourism, Second Life, Video Streaming, Soundscape, Multilinguality, Path and Camera Planning, MPEG-V standard
}
abstract = {
Nowadays, tourism has become a very important industry in the international economy. Information and communication technologies are in constant development; they progress worldwide and across sectors. Their applications in tourism and tourist resources is rapidly increasing, reaching new, innovative and sometimes amazing results in terms of effectiveness, productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction. Exploring the interaction between technologies and tourism is difficult and challenging. Specifically, using virtual world technologies as a new means of information for potential tourists is a big challenge where the actual methods, goals and needs still need to be exactly identified. Within the Metaverse1 project, Innovalia Spain (in association with other European partners) has created a 'technologies laboratory' for the tourism sector within a virtual world; this laboratory is called the Virtual Travel Use Case. A new island has been implemented in Second Life, as the playfield of the Virtual Travel Use Case. This island represents the hot spots of Gran Canaria (one of the seven islands making up the archipelago of Canary Islands, Spain). This is the starting point for analysing, testing and validating developments of tourism in virtual worlds, and the application part of the related research activity. The main technologies implemented in the Virtual Travel Use Case are listed below. They aim at making the tourists' experience in a virtual world even more interesting. UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA has developed a platform for authoring and rendering Soundscapes (sound ambiances) in virtual worlds. INRIA Talaris has developed multilingual tools for tourists within virtual worlds, the MLIF: The Multi Lingual Information Framework for virtual worlds. UTRECHT UNIVERSITY has researched and developed the Path and Camara Planning tools in virtual worlds. In addition to these four technologies, we contributed to the MPEG-V Standard. In this respect, the work of VICOMTECH focused on defining the attributes that can identify each avatar as unique, and afterwards, a high-level XML-based specification of these attributes has been created. The specification has been called ADML (Avatar Definition Markup Language) and it has been included into the new MPEG-V standard for interoperability between virtual worlds. IMS has designed and implemented the Video streaming model within virtual worlds. This paper aims at analyzing why and how virtual worlds can become an important platform for tourism-oriented areas to promote a destination in general, and their local heritage and tourist added-value services in particular. The document will also introduce the design of the first prototypes and the validation results of the four specific technologies tested at the Virtual Travel Use Case (Soundscape generation, Multilinguality, Video streaming and Path and Camera Planning). Finally, the contribution to the MPEG-V standard will also be detailed in the paper.
}
date = {2011-07-15},
year = {2011},
}
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