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From real cities to virtual worlds using an open modular architecture

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The technologies for the Web and virtual worlds are currently converging, but although there are some efforts made to integrate them with each other, they typically rely on technologies foreign to most Web developers. In this paper, we present a new open architecture that combines several emerging and established technologies to provide convenient tools for developing virtual worlds directly in the Web. These technologies are easy to learn and understand by the Web community and allow for quick prototyping. Overall the modular architecture allows virtual worlds to be developed more quickly and more widely deployed. Additionally, we demonstrate that creating an adequate virtual environment can be an easy task when applying the principles of crowd-sourcing. We present an application that uses one of the largest available open data sources of geospatial information to bring 3D cities from the real world into the virtual environment.