Visiting a Virtual Graveyard: Designing Virtual Reality Cultural Heritage Experiences

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

  • Petri Hannula
  • Emilia Launne
  • Sanni Mustonen
  • Toni Westerlund


Virtual reality offers a potential solution to enable visiting inaccessible cultural heritage sites. We present the design, prototyping and evaluation (n = 6) of a virtual visit to a historic graveyard. The Salla World War II graveyard is located in an inaccessible border zone between Finland and Russia. Our virtual graveyard, accessed through a head mounted display, aimed to create an as accurate as possible simulation of the Salla graveyard, including its atmosphere. Users are enabled to navigate the virtual graveyard and place a candle on a grave. Although the simulation was considered immersive, participants wished for more authenticity and details, e.g. being able to light the virtual candle. The work opens discussion on the need for dignity in the design of virtual experiences for sensitive cultural heritage sites.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMUM '19
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 18th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia
EditorsGiulio Jacucci , Fabio Paternò, Michael Rohs, Carmen Santoro
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-7624-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia - CNR Area, building a ground floor, room 27, Pisa, Italy
Duration: 26 Nov 201929 Nov 2019
Conference number: 18th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia
Abbreviated titleMUM '19
Internet address