Imaginary Cities — Chongqing (11233132716)

v1.0 by: Michael Takeo Magruder, 2019

A real-time virtual 'city' exclusively generated from an early urban map of Chongqing.

Digital Media Documentation:

About the Artwork:

Imaginary Cities — Chongqing (11233132716) is a real-time virtual 'city' exclusively created from an early urban map of Chongqing found in the British Library's One Million Images from Scanned Books collection on Flickr Commons. The 3D environment is algorithmically rendered anew each day from a 2D 'map' that is being constantly regenerated by the project's online server application. The synthetic world shifts according to a hyperreal day/night cycle and offers two primary viewpoints. The first is a randomly animated vista of the city's skyline, whilst the second is a floating street-view perspective that is experienced through an Oculus VR headset. An atmospheric soundscape (also generated in real time) completes the experience.

Source Map:

'Chinese Map of Chungking'
in GE Morrison, An Australian in China… London, 1895. 010057.e.40

Installation Documentation:

In Collaboration with:

Drew Baker [ 3D visualisation & programming ] . David Steele [ server architecture & programming ]

With Thanks to:

Kai-Chuan Chapman [ BL Cultural Partnerships, China: project organisation & development ] . Jamie Andrews [ BL: cultural events & exchanges ] . Dani Chen [ UK Department for International Trade: installation production ]

Supported by:

Imaginary Cities — Chongqing (11233132716) was co-commissioned by the British Library in partnership with the UK Department for International Trade for the UK Pavilion at the Smart China Expo 2019, Chongqing.

Artwork Requirements:

Modular VR installation using: two high-specification computer systems capable of real-time high definition 3D rendering (Unity3D) with live Internet connections; Oculus Rift virtual reality headset (CV1 or S) and single-channel high definition video projection system; and stereo audio system (Flash).

Online Resources:


© TAKEO 2019