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Explore Orkney’s Maeshowe Tomb Anywhere in the World with New 3D App

Posted: 30th June 2017

Maeshowe-2211A new mobile app, enabling people across the world to explore one of Europe’s finest chambered tombs, Maeshowe in Orkney, is now available.

This cutting edge technology, entitled Explore Maeshowe, allows audiences to virtually explore the historic site – a masterpiece of Neolithic design and construction and part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site – in high definition 3D.

Through the app – which is available on bot iOS and Android formats – users can discover Norse graffiti from the 1100s and see how the entrance passage to the Maeshowe Tomb is perfectly aligned with the setting of the midwinter sun.

Developed using highly accurate laser scan data captured as part of the Scottish Ten Project, via a partnership between Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and experts in 3D visualisation at The Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation (SimVis), the app also allows users to take part in an interactive 3D tour of the site, view an impressive photographic slideshow and learn more about Maeshowe’s rich legacy.

Dr Lyn Wilson, Digital Documentation Manager at HES said: “The app is a fantastic way to share our cutting edge laser scan data and 3D models to provide virtual access to this wonderful site, which is something we as an organisation are increasingly doing as a key way of enabling more and more people and new audiences to engage with us, our sites and our collections.

“The app is also a great example of bringing together heritage and cutting-edge technology to showcase such a unique site and give people a high quality, digital glimpse of the tomb from wherever they are in the world.”

Dr Paul Chapman, Director of SimVis added: “Explore Maeshowe has been a fantastic project to work on and the team here at GSA has really enjoyed collaborating with Historic Environment Scotland to deliver a piece of technology we’re all very proud of and one which people will equally enjoy and use to “visit” this incredible site.”

A monumental chambered tomb, Maeshowe is the finest Neolithic building to survive in north-west Europe. Built around 5,000 years ago, it is an impressive burial monument, where people lived, worshipped, and honoured their dead. One of its most alluring features for visitors is how the entrance to the tomb is aligned with the setting of the midwinter sun, so that the light illuminates the tomb’s interior.

The new app is available to download now:

Download Explore Maeshowe for Android

Download Explore Maeshowe for iOS

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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