Eleven years ago, on an airplane flying from California to New York, Victor happened to open the magazine from the pocket of the seat in front of him and read an article about how museums did not have the resources necessary to keep up with the amount of artifacts archaeologists were bringing in. This means that artifacts that spent hundreds of years in the ground were now wasting away in an unused storage room because of money and resource constraints. After reading this article, Victor thought “there must be a better way” and decided to search for the solution. From the ground up, he built a company that designed and developed 3D rotational photography equipment.
Fast-forward ten years and Victor is deeply immersed in Virtual Reality (VR) technology. Armed with his custom built 3D virtual camera, he immediately thought of the article he read years before and started the search for a museum that would be the perfect place to use his camera. He was fortunate to have a contact at the San Diego History Center who let him borrow the museum for a day. What came out of this was a VR tour through the San Diego History Center and eventually the opportunity to apply his technology to the task of building a VR tour of the Presidio and its antiquities.
When the San Diego History Center first approached Victor about the Presidio, his first thought was the Presidio in San Francisco. The History Center explained that they were actually referring to the Presidio in San Diego located at the intersection of I-5 and I-8, a relatively unknown profoundly historical location in San Diego. What came of that meeting was a deep exploration into what the Presidio was and what it looked like, a feat much more difficult than one would originally think.
After working with the cities experts digging through the history of the Presidio in San Diego as well as numerous historical documents, Victor and the team were able to start construction on a 3D virtual model of the Presidio. Victor went back to the account written by George Derby, a member of the Army Corps of Engineers, in 1854. Using this account, as well as the information obtained from recent archaeological digs and topography information, Victor and the team got a realistic view of how the Presidio may have looked at its apex in 1790’s.
While most Presidios were constructed using strict Presidio rules set forth by Spain, San Diego experienced more of an organic growth and does not adhere to the same rigid structure. As they continue their research, with support from the San Diego History Center, Victor and his team plan to digitally reconstruct the entire Presidio, making a VR experience for all ages.