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The "Virtual Tübingen" Project

The Virtual Tübingen project was motivated by the emerging need for a naturalistic, controllable environment for investigating human spatial cognition. The goal was to build a highly realistic virtual model of Tübingen through which one can move in real time. This project builds on experience with Virtual Reality and Navigation gathered in this lab over the past couple of years.

Our choice to model Tübingen as a virtual city has several reasons: The first major reason relates to the observation that the center of Tübingen has a rather complex structure: there are considerable height differences, the streets often tend to be curved and have varying width, and the houses are rather different with varying facades. This high degree of complexity provides a much more interesting environment for conducting navigation experiments than highly regular cities like e.g. New York City offer. The second major reason is that we would like to achieve a high degree of visual realism, which in our case is done by combining photographs and high-quality texture mapping with three-dimensional geometry. The process of making photographs of houses and streets as well as gaining access to architectural data is of course easiest for this local town. Another reason for chosing Tübingen is that this makes it particularly easy to find people who are well trained in navigating through the real version of Tübingen thus providing us with good comparison of real-world and virtual experiments.

Virtual Tübingen and the Speed of Light

VT and the speed of light in collaboration with the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics Tuebingen (only in German)




Tour through Virtual Tübingen

Download the High res. Version here:


Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics | Spemannstr. 38 | 72070 Tübingen | Germany
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