Place-Based Virtual and Augmented Reality: Background

In 1997 I began work on Imaging Place, a place-based virtual reality project that combines panoramic still photography and video, with three-dimensional virtual reality to create user navigated art installation and virtual environments. The work was created on location at sites around the world and exhibited internationally.


Imaging Place, image sequence, John Craig Freeman, place-based virtual reality installation art, 1997-2007.

Imaging Place, screen recording, John Craig Freeman, place-based virtual reality installation art, 1997-2007.

Since 2009 I have experimenting with the use of augmented reality technology as a form of public art. Although this work is a departure from the earlier virtual reality work, it is consistent with my interest in location and movement through space. Both approaches use a cartographic approach to the subject and require navigation to experience it.


Border Memorial: Frontera de los Muertos, John Craig Freeman, augmented reality public art, Southern Arizona, 2012.

In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography. On Exactitude in Science, Jorge Luis Borges

Place-Based Virtual and Augmented Reality


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