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The Quake 3D graphics engine is a really nice piece of
software -- why waste it on games? Every major city
fund the creation of a (largish) Quake3 level that is a replica
of the interesting areas of the city. The city-Quake-map
would be available for tourists to use for walk-throughs
-overs) of the city, to get them better acquainted with how
the city is layed out, on a visceral level. The Quake map
would be made available on line, as well as on kiosks in the
lobbies of hotels, airports, etc. I think many people would
it much easier to get oriented by taking a virtual walk-
than by staring at a 2D block-abstraction and trying to
translate that back to real-world directions.
Once the basic map was created, cities could get creative,
adding helpful "native" characters to the level, voice-overs,
multi-user (say hi to the other tourists ;^)), easter eggs,
I would imagine most cities would disallow weaponry
since that isn't the kind of image they want to project.
maybe in Texas ;^))
The Second World
A virtual Paris, in French. [Aristotle, Jun 04 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]
Quake3 levels of Famous Places
Including Queen's College, Oxford. [Aristotle, Jun 04 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]
Not bad for open source stuff [dag, Jun 04 2002]
Photos of every address in Paris.
But it's far less wieldy than Jeremi's suggestion. [beauxeault, Jun 04 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]
||It sounds like you have not yet heard about virtual Paris or Queen's College Oxford.
||Could we at least keep the sniper scope so that I could zoom in on something?
||Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) 3-D rendering maps are what you're looking for.
||Croissant! I have long wanted just such a very thing. I'd also like just such a very thing for wilderness areas and hiking trails, so I can "get out more" even when I'm trapped inside or on a plane or something. For the tourist/city thing, it could easily be funded by making sponsors' locations in the city "live" (i.e., unfunded businesses would just be facades, but funded ones would let you come in and shop.).
||SAR is not what *I'm* looking for. I'd like to see the Second World thing, but the "visitor" link seems to be broken, and I'm not going to sign up just to get a peek.