Towards A Digital Makkah


"Towards A Digital Makkah" Using Immersive 3D Environments To Train And Prepare Pilgrims. Jens Schneider, Dina Garatly, Madhusudhanan Srinivasan, Stephen Guy & Sean Curtis. King Abdullah University Of Science And Technology, Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia & University Of North Carolina, USA.


Jens Schneider, Dina Garatly, Madhusudhanan Srinivasan, Stephen Guy & Sean Curtis


Interactive virtual environments, Digital reconstruction and 3D modeling, Virtual cultural heritage




Due to its unique position in Islam, Makkah arguably draws more interest and attention from more people than any other city of the world. In this paper, we describe our ongoing effort to design a digital model of the core area of Makkah. We describe a crowd simulation engine that simulates tens to hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at interactive update rates. This engine also provides tools to guide crowd motion to analyze the effects of architectural changes and evacuation plans. Our framework can be used both to provide engaging tutorials on the Hajj or the Umrah, e.g. in immersive environments or videos, and to assist decision makers in solving logistic and organizatorial challenges.
By using digital media to systematically gather, process, and display all information relevant to the pilgrimages to Makkah, we furthermore foster the understanding of non-muslims for the Islamic faith. The last point is important, since the seclusion of the Holy area of Makkah for sacred purposes is often misinterpreted by non-adepts as being occult or exclusionary.