Considered the height of 17th and 18th century mapping technology, intricately detailed large-scale 3D relief maps of building sites in France were once closely guarded military secrets. Now Microsoft’s HoloForge Interactive division has teamed with French technology company Iconem to deliver an immersive, photorealistic mixed reality experience of the famed Mont-Saint-Michel relief map:
“The Musee des Plans-Reliefs in Paris is home to more than 100 of these historic relief maps that have withstood the test of time. But the star of the collection is the model of Mont-Saint-Michel — a rocky headland off the Normandy coast with a Benedictine abbey that’s an architectural marvel in its own right — presented by monks to Louis XIV in 1709. Fast-forward 300 years, a HoloLens experience brought these technological feats to life for a new generation in France last year.”
To create the Mont-Saint-Michel HoloLens mixed reality experience, Microsoft partnered with French technology company Iconem, which specializes in digitizing cultural heritage sites in 3D. Photorealistic 3D renderings of the Mont-Saint-Michel model and site were created using artificial intelligence to process hundreds of thousands of photos captured by drones and on the ground, resulting in fantastically detailed imagery that takes viewers back in time.
In the video below, Iconem founder Yves Ubelmann gives viewers a peek inside the famous Mont Saint-Michel abbey in France, which Ubelmann’s grandfather originally helped restore:
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