Angkor VR

Crafting a real-time VR simulation of Angkor

The virtual reality experience of Angkor adapts the cartography of the Angkor virtual map project for the VR viewer.

Once inside the VR environment, viewers can move through a map of Angkor’s urban core, with the city stretching out roughly at waist level. Leaning down near to the landscape prompts a peal of location-based soundscapes emanating from the temples, roads, and fields. Mixed in among these field recordings are the sounds of reconstructed Angkorian instruments created by ethnomusicologist Patrick Kersale, based on bas-relief imagery of instruments that have long since vanished from Cambodia. Using a controller, the VR user can select animated markers that transport them to scenes of daily life at ground level.

The “X-ray” aesthetic of the opening map mimics the way that LiDAR scans the landscape for hidden features, but our reconstruction process effectively reverses LiDAR technology. The 3-D models that are visible on the map denote the virtual reconstructions of Angkor that we have extrapolated upon, or assembled “on top” of the LiDAR data. The result is a visualization of the living city of Angkor growing out of its archaeological imprint. 

Development Team – Tom Chandler, Mike Yeates, Chandara Ung, Michael Neylan, Su-Yiin Lai, Anita Lin, Sara Teh, Chulsa Heng

CollaborationsMartin Polkinghorne, Flinders University; Patrick Kersale, ethno-archaeo-musicologist