Turkish engineer showcases 3-D photos of cultural sites
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
The website www.3dmekanlar.com gives viewers the opportunity to visit many religious and touristic venues in Turkey and some in other countries. A total of 1.5 million people visited the site within one year, says the owner of the website, Ercan Gigi. Company photoA Turkish engineer has created a website that allows people to view 3-D images of cultural sites in the world. Website has received 1.5 million visitors in one year.
Ercan Gigi, a Turkish electronic engineer living in Netherlands, has created a website that showcases 3-D images of religious and touristic venues in Turkey and abroad. He said the website attracted 1.5 million visitors within one year.
The website www.3dmekanlar.com gives viewers the opportunity to visit many religious and touristic venues in Turkey and some in other countries. The owner of the site, Ercan Gigi, works for Philips as a researcher.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Gigi said: “I encountered this technique in 2000 when I have discovered 360-degree panoramic photos taken by foreigners and I loved them.”
Later Gigi decided to use this technique in a website.
“However, I thought that those photos are not enough to exhibit on an Internet site, because the software was not enough.” Gigi took the photos and developed new software to make the photos more attractive.
“With the new software, I made it possible to take a tour inside a touristic place in Turkey,” said Gigi, adding that he has used a rendering technique that is similar to what is used in video games.
With this technique it is possible to display images that can make visitors feel like they are standing in a location.
Noting that he is interested in Islamic architecture, Gigi said: “I took panoramic photos of some of the best Islamic architecture, such as mosques in Turkey. I started with digital cameras and fish-eye lenses.”
In 2005 Gigi started to share his works with other people and noticed there was no other panoramic photo website in Turkey.
With the positive feedback he received, Gigi decided to focus on cultural sites and heritage. “I applied for exclusive permission from the government and took the photos during the summer months,” he said, adding that sometimes he receives invitations from other countries to take photos and make 3-D photos on his site.
He also took photos of many religious sites. “We received an invitation from Medina. The last invitation we received was from Kuwait.”
Noting that his website is not trade driven, Gigi said: “Our aim is to be beneficial for everyone and society.”
A total of 1.5 million people visited the site within one year, said Gigi. Currently, there are 1,042 venue folders on the website, he added. “We took photos from more than one spot. “There are 288 venues, such as palaces, museums, baths, historical mansions, towers and castles,” said Gigi.
The most visited venues on the website are Topkapı Palace, Pamukkale, the Eiffel Tower, the Maiden’s Tower in Istanbul and the Kaaba.
Gigi said the site receives visitors from all over the world. Noting that more than 4,000 people visit the site per day, Gigi said: “I think it is because people can have visual visits to religious and cultural heritage sites as they want.”