Ardales Virtual Cave

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1 Client: 

Guadalteba Local Action Group

2 Situation: 

The main purpose of the Guadalteba Local Action Group in Malaga in southern Spain is to contribute to the economic and social development of the region with the project focusing on value, preservation and accessibility of the well known Ardales cave which houses a series of Paleolithic paintings and engravings, as well as permanent lakes and wonderful stalagmites formations. To better help promote the cave,  there was a call to develop a Virtual Tour of it to be located in the nearby Interpretation Centre.

3 Solution: 

The virtual visit developed by Virtualware displays the three-dimensional environment of the cave which is shown on a projection system in the Interpretation Centre. The guides who are in charge of the projections can stop the visit at any of the virtual information points found throughout the cave to find out more about the engravings and paintings dating from the Upper Paleolithic (about 20 thousand years ago).
To carry out this project, it was necessary to perform a laser scan of the entire cave. The resulting data was used to model in 3D the more complex geometrical elements of the cave. Along with the laser scanning,  more than 300 digital high resolution photographs were used to assist in developing the virtual surface, giving the resulting model a highly realistic result.

To add another elment of interactivity to the installation, visitors can also navegate through the virtual cave themselves on large screens using videogame controllers.

4 Results: 

The 3D Virtual Tour of the Ardales cave became a clear example of how technology could be used for the conservation and diffusion of the archaeological heritage of the region. Visitors of all ages can enjoy a safe virtual journey through the cave and learn a great deal about this unique geological and archaelogical treasure through the engaging installation.