VR Prototype for The New Historia

“It’s almost like Google Earth for knowledge.”

This work is an in progress project that Lisa and her team have been developing. It is their first prototype that explores the opportunities for understanding information in the realms of a three dimensional space.  The goal is to create a new paradigm in the data world with how information is organized and read by viewers. To use it, viewers would place a VR headset on to enter and interact with the timeline. It is purposefully designed to be minimal and neutral as to not overwhelm viewers like the more cinematic or illustrative VR experiences. Using the handheld VR controls, you can navigate the space by changing your perspective, zooming in and out, or even flying through time to explore the network of information.

The content in the visual is from The New Historia, a collection of historical women’s lives and their work that was based on a newer version of Mary Hays’ six-volume Female Biography collection. Their lives are represented on the X-axis of the diagram and stretch through the decades, as the years are represented by a long series of rectangles. The faint lines drawn between the women represent their relationships; if they were friends, correspondences, colleagues, etc.

Strausfeld sees the potential in utilizing three dimensional spaces for data and is using this prototype as a research project of sorts. To expand beyond the flat screen and enter a new, almost tangible, reality is liberating for her. Now, she can either continue to develop a time-based graph as a research or educational tool for people to use, or as a bigger platform to make connections between people and their contributions through the course of history.