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Part video game, part museum tour

Web app Giza 3D permits online visitors to virtually explore Egypt’s pyramids

THE PLATEAU Egypt’s Giza Plateau, as rendered by Dassault Systemes Web app Giza 3D. THE PLATEAU Egypt’s Giza Plateau, as rendered by Dassault Systemes Web app Giza 3D. (Dassault Systemes)
By Michael B. Farrell
Globe Staff / May 7, 2012
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The Pyramids at Giza in Egypt are among the world’s great archaeological treasures. A visit there, though, has involved an expensive flight to Cairo, a dizzying cab ride across the congested metropolis, and in general, baking under the Egyptian sun. But now, exploring the three pyramids of Giza can be done from anywhere there’s an Internet connection. “Giza 3D,’’ a free interactive Web app launching Tuesday, will offer the virtual explorer an animated passage through millennia-old tunnels and tombs.

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Building a virtual pyramid
Dassault Systemes used advanced three-dimensional imaging to build the Giza experience, a virtual and interactive tour of the pyramids. Giza 3D includes hundreds of tombs that include detailed decorative walls, burial sites, and artifacts that software engineers recreated using some of the 80,000 digitized items - photos, maps, and drawings - in the Giza Archives Project at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The project used QuickTime Virtual Reality technology to include 1,300 panoramic views inside the program so users have 360-degree views inside and outside the tombs.