Ideally, anyone involved with or planning a virtual reality project would read this Guide in its entirety. However, in many cases individuals will be involved in different stages of the project. To reflect this, the Guide has been structured into clear thematic sections and does not necessarily have to be read in a linear order. However, if you are reading about this subject for the first time, we recommend you follow the sections in order to gain most benefit.
The sections of this guide are:
Section 1: Overview and Objectives – introduces the Guide, virtual reality, the subjects and issues covered.
Section 2: Virtual Reality: History, Philosophy and Theory – charts the history of virtual reality and considers the philosophy and theory behind it.
Section 3: Virtual Reality Methods and Techniques – provides information about the creation of virtual reality. General techniques and issues are introduced and specific types of VR are presented and compared.
Section 4: Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) – this section considers virtual environments where users can interact with each other. It explains the technology involved, how users may be represented and ways in which they may interact with each other.
Section 5: Documenting Data from a Virtual Reality Project – looks at the documentation needed to support testing, maintenance and archiving.
Section 6: Archiving Virtual Reality Projects – looks at archiving issues. With technology changing fast and new VR formats emerging regularly, it is important to consider ways of ensuring the use of VR resources in the future. Section 6 introduces the techniques that may be used to extend the lifespan of resources and provides guidelines for depositing virtual reality projects in digital archives.
Section 7: Resource Discovery – considers resource discovery and the reasons for providing metadata to support the retrieval of virtual reality both on the Internet and from archive catalogues.
Virtual Reality Case Study Library – this section offers examples of the uses of virtual reality in the Arts and Humanities.
This guide aims to provide guidance for those without a technical or computing background. For this reason the language used is relatively free from technical jargon and a glossary is provided to explain the more technical terms. A bibliography provides references to more in-depth information about the subjects covered in the Guide and author biographies are included for reference.