We are excited to announce that Digital Westerplatte project, designed by Chronospace IT company for the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk, has received a distinction in the "Startup - The Best Technological Solution" category in the "Innovation Eagle" contest by Rzeczpospolita daily. The IT company Chronospace, together with the scientific team of M2WŚ carried out a project that merges 3D virtual and augmented reality technologies for digitally recreated historical scenes and places.
Digital Westerplatte is part of a larger wbmf.online platform. Wbmf.online is a virtual space that brings together in one online place museums and institutions - the custodians of battlefields heritage from around the world. It was designed as a follow up to World Battlefield Museums Forum conference, whose current edition was postponed to 2021 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The site will enable constant contact between WBMF conference partners, exchange of scientific information, and sharing knowledge and experience gained during the creation of memorial and battlefield museums important for individual nations. The key idea behind WBMF is to make people reflect on the fate of another human being and the role of preserving memory of sacrifice in the defence of core, humanitarian values. History enthusiasts of all ages will be able to explore our information base about historical battles. The battlefields map will take users into the world of historic battles through engaging, educational infographics and VR 3D models of soldiers taking part.
The Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk is first in the world to launch a project that merges VR and AR technologies for digitally recreated historical events and sites. The 3D graphics uploaded onto sketchfab.com platform are among top 10 best projects in the world in the Cultural and Historical Heritage in 2020 section. The 3D models of historical events were appreciated by the users themselves - the Museum's presentation has been viewed by several thousand Internet users within 3 weeks of its publication. The presentation allows users to view the models on any device: computer, smartphone, or 3D VR goggles.
As Dr Karol Nawrocki, Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk says, telling the story in such an innovative and attractive way is very important:
Cultural institutions of the 21st century should follow the spirit of the times and address the needs of a younger generation, for whom education through new technologies offers educative and enticing meansof historical education. New technologies in the Museum of the Second World War provide an answer to the current COVID_19 pandemic situation, which calls for a modern and effective solutions of reaching the audience moving in virtual space, willing to actively engage and participate culturally.
The novel VR content is a digitally reconstructed fragment of the Westerplatte Military Transit Depot from 1939. The digital reconstruction includes details such as a tiled stove modeled on the recently excavated fragments of original tiles, or furnishings of the Stationmaster's office. Sketchfab.com users are able to view and virtually tour the station building, the area in front of the railway gate, warehouses, and nearby buildings. The introduction of voice-over for comments an storytelling adds important details to the VR presentation. Users can follow and relate to little-known, tragic story of Westerplatte's Stationmaster sergeant Wojciech Najsarek. Individual scenes and narratives let viewers re-live and participate in the attack on Westerplatte's railway gate and in pushing back the German attack by the "Wał" outpost.
Through the innovative use of 3D VR technology, the presentation by the Museum of WWII in Gdansk inspires users of all ages, especially the youth, to learn about important historical events. In the next few months wbmf.online will post content relating to 21 world's iconic battlefields.