SGI Technologies Bring Ancient Site Alive at Archaeology Visitor Center Opening Tomorrow

Davidson Center in Jerusalem Joins Stellar List of Visitor Centers Worldwide

Using SGI Visualization Systems



Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from SGI

   MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- When Israeli President
 Moshe Katzav and other dignitaries inaugurate the subterranean Ethan and Marla
 Davidson Center in Jerusalem on April 17, it will mark yet another visitor
 center's use of dazzling SGI(TM) (NYSE:   SGI) visualization technologies in
 world-class museum settings.
     The Davidson Center lies within an excavated, beautifully restored
 underground complex at the entrance to the Israel Antiquities Authority's
 Jerusalem Archaeological park, one of the largest, most significant
 archaeological sites in Israel.
     A highlight of the facility is a real-time virtual walk-through of the
 Herodian Temple Mount as it looked prior to its destruction by Roman troops
 some 2,000 years ago.
     Twenty-four feet below the pavement, visitors enter a dramatic 35-seat
 theater featuring a wide screen. With a host archaeologist at the helm, images
 generated by a 64-bit, dual-processor Silicon Graphics(R) Onyx2(R)
 InfiniteReality3(TM) visualization system take the group on a free-roaming
 walk through a city no one has seen for nearly 2,000 years -- the Jerusalem of
 Biblical times. Based on questions and interests from each new audience, the
 spectacular images, the ability zoom in and out, and the direction of the walk
 are manipulated on the spot by the host, using the tremendous data-crunching
 power of SGI technologies.
     SGI has earned a well-deserved stellar reputation as the solution provider
 of choice for visitor centers in museum settings around the world seeking to
 present breathtaking re-creations of distant times and/or places:
 
     -- The National Museum of Anthropology and History in Mexico City is
 installing an immersive SGI(TM) Reality Center(TM) facility driven by Onyx2
 that takes audiences from today's El Zocalo, the central plaza in Mexico City,
 back to the site as it looked during pre-Columbian times, when Aztecs ruled
 the land
     -- The advanced graphics technology of Onyx2 recently brought one of the
 most beautiful tombs in Egypt to Silicon Valley; in an exhibition that ended
 in March, SGI and Infobyte collaborated to present a virtual tour of the Tomb
 of Nefertari at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif.
     -- When the Toshodai-ji Temple was closed to visitors during its
 restoration, Toppan Printing Co. Ltd. collaborated with SGI to re-create the
 temple as a large-scale, high-resolution virtual environment at the
 Tokyo National Museum, allowing visitors to experience the ancient site
 despite its closure
 
     "There are limitless opportunities available to visitor centers in museum
 settings to re-create cultural sites and artifacts with high-quality,
 high-resolution, interactive experiences using SGI technologies," explains SGI
 Scientific Education and Arts Director Afshad Mistri. "The virtual environment
 that goes on display at the Davidson Center provides yet another example of
 the exciting applications that are possible. SGI is very proud to be working
 with the Israeli Antiquities Authority in the creation and presentation of
 these archaeology-based databases."
     "We believe that this is the most exciting way to explain to
 nonarchaeologists -- and even to archaeologists-what an archaeological site
 looked like," adds Jakob Fisch, director of external affairs for the Israel
 Antiquities Authority. "We couldn't have shown this quality and resolution on
 any other computer platform."
     The Davidson Center's system uses cutting-edge visualization tools,
 including not only a powerful Silicon Graphics Onyx2 InfiniteReality3 computer
 but also high-resolution display and integration technologies. This
 combination of components provides audiences with images that are at once
 breathtaking and scientifically accurate.
     The visual simulation model of the Herodian Temple Mount was developed
 jointly by the Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of California
 Los Angeles (UCLA) Urban Simulation Team. "It's amazing to be able to walk
 through something that hasn't existed for 2,000 years and realize how
 monumental these creations were," says UCLA Urban Simulation Team Laboratory
 Director Bill Jepson.
     The Jerusalem Archaeological Park includes such sites as the Mount of
 Olives, the south Temple Mount wall and the City of David. The Davidson Center
 includes rooms containing maps, drawings and models of antiquities. In
 addition to the visualization system, a pair of Silicon Graphics(R)
 230 workstations with Silicon Graphics(R) 1600SW high-resolution digital
 flat-panel displays enables visitors to access images and information on the
 park's Web site.
     For further details about SGI's involvement with international museums,
 science centers and planetariums, visit www.sgi.com/go/museum. For images from
 the Davidson Center's Temple Mount presentation and for a link to a PDF file
 about the center, visit the UCLA Urban Simulation Team's site,
 www.ust.ucla.edu/ustweb/projects/israel.html.
     SGI provides a broad range of high-performance computing and advanced
 graphics solutions that enable customers to understand and conquer their
 toughest computing problems. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with
 offices worldwide, the company is located on the Web at www.sgi.com.
     NOTE:  Silicon Graphics, Onyx and Onyx2 are registered trademarks and SGI,
 the SGI logo, InfiniteReality and InfiniteReality3 are trademarks of Silicon
 Graphics, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the properties of
 their respective owners.
 
     CONTACT:  John G. Watson of SGI, 650-933-1652, or jwatson@corp.sgi.com, or
 SGI PR Hotline, 650-933-7777, or SGI PR Fax, 650-932-0737.
 
 
 

SOURCE SGI
   MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- When Israeli President
 Moshe Katzav and other dignitaries inaugurate the subterranean Ethan and Marla
 Davidson Center in Jerusalem on April 17, it will mark yet another visitor
 center's use of dazzling SGI(TM) (NYSE:   SGI) visualization technologies in
 world-class museum settings.
     The Davidson Center lies within an excavated, beautifully restored
 underground complex at the entrance to the Israel Antiquities Authority's
 Jerusalem Archaeological park, one of the largest, most significant
 archaeological sites in Israel.
     A highlight of the facility is a real-time virtual walk-through of the
 Herodian Temple Mount as it looked prior to its destruction by Roman troops
 some 2,000 years ago.
     Twenty-four feet below the pavement, visitors enter a dramatic 35-seat
 theater featuring a wide screen. With a host archaeologist at the helm, images
 generated by a 64-bit, dual-processor Silicon Graphics(R) Onyx2(R)
 InfiniteReality3(TM) visualization system take the group on a free-roaming
 walk through a city no one has seen for nearly 2,000 years -- the Jerusalem of
 Biblical times. Based on questions and interests from each new audience, the
 spectacular images, the ability zoom in and out, and the direction of the walk
 are manipulated on the spot by the host, using the tremendous data-crunching
 power of SGI technologies.
     SGI has earned a well-deserved stellar reputation as the solution provider
 of choice for visitor centers in museum settings around the world seeking to
 present breathtaking re-creations of distant times and/or places:
 
     -- The National Museum of Anthropology and History in Mexico City is
 installing an immersive SGI(TM) Reality Center(TM) facility driven by Onyx2
 that takes audiences from today's El Zocalo, the central plaza in Mexico City,
 back to the site as it looked during pre-Columbian times, when Aztecs ruled
 the land
     -- The advanced graphics technology of Onyx2 recently brought one of the
 most beautiful tombs in Egypt to Silicon Valley; in an exhibition that ended
 in March, SGI and Infobyte collaborated to present a virtual tour of the Tomb
 of Nefertari at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif.
     -- When the Toshodai-ji Temple was closed to visitors during its
 restoration, Toppan Printing Co. Ltd. collaborated with SGI to re-create the
 temple as a large-scale, high-resolution virtual environment at the
 Tokyo National Museum, allowing visitors to experience the ancient site
 despite its closure
 
     "There are limitless opportunities available to visitor centers in museum
 settings to re-create cultural sites and artifacts with high-quality,
 high-resolution, interactive experiences using SGI technologies," explains SGI
 Scientific Education and Arts Director Afshad Mistri. "The virtual environment
 that goes on display at the Davidson Center provides yet another example of
 the exciting applications that are possible. SGI is very proud to be working
 with the Israeli Antiquities Authority in the creation and presentation of
 these archaeology-based databases."
     "We believe that this is the most exciting way to explain to
 nonarchaeologists -- and even to archaeologists-what an archaeological site
 looked like," adds Jakob Fisch, director of external affairs for the Israel
 Antiquities Authority. "We couldn't have shown this quality and resolution on
 any other computer platform."
     The Davidson Center's system uses cutting-edge visualization tools,
 including not only a powerful Silicon Graphics Onyx2 InfiniteReality3 computer
 but also high-resolution display and integration technologies. This
 combination of components provides audiences with images that are at once
 breathtaking and scientifically accurate.
     The visual simulation model of the Herodian Temple Mount was developed
 jointly by the Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of California
 Los Angeles (UCLA) Urban Simulation Team. "It's amazing to be able to walk
 through something that hasn't existed for 2,000 years and realize how
 monumental these creations were," says UCLA Urban Simulation Team Laboratory
 Director Bill Jepson.
     The Jerusalem Archaeological Park includes such sites as the Mount of
 Olives, the south Temple Mount wall and the City of David. The Davidson Center
 includes rooms containing maps, drawings and models of antiquities. In
 addition to the visualization system, a pair of Silicon Graphics(R)
 230 workstations with Silicon Graphics(R) 1600SW high-resolution digital
 flat-panel displays enables visitors to access images and information on the
 park's Web site.
     For further details about SGI's involvement with international museums,
 science centers and planetariums, visit www.sgi.com/go/museum. For images from
 the Davidson Center's Temple Mount presentation and for a link to a PDF file
 about the center, visit the UCLA Urban Simulation Team's site,
 www.ust.ucla.edu/ustweb/projects/israel.html.
     SGI provides a broad range of high-performance computing and advanced
 graphics solutions that enable customers to understand and conquer their
 toughest computing problems. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with
 offices worldwide, the company is located on the Web at www.sgi.com.
     NOTE:  Silicon Graphics, Onyx and Onyx2 are registered trademarks and SGI,
 the SGI logo, InfiniteReality and InfiniteReality3 are trademarks of Silicon
 Graphics, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the properties of
 their respective owners.
 
     CONTACT:  John G. Watson of SGI, 650-933-1652, or jwatson@corp.sgi.com, or
 SGI PR Hotline, 650-933-7777, or SGI PR Fax, 650-932-0737.
 
 
 SOURCE  SGI

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