This chapter aims at illustrating how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could be used to exploit and disseminate Cultural Heritage, providing enriching learning experiences for different targets of users, especially young people. In fact, by the immersion in virtual museums or reconstructed worlds, users can build different paths of fruition interacting with 3D objects as in a videogame. In this way, a superimposed and interchangeable view of the real find and its virtual reconstruction for a global vision is allowed. Particularly effective for arising interest and curiosity in the users are mobile devices (i.e. Personal Digital Assistants, pocket PCs, smart-phones) integrated with GIS and GPS, which can provide combined real and virtual information based on users’ location by a Virtual Navigation System. The case study of Calabrian Magna Graecia (Italy) is presented, with particular reference to the projects “Virtual Museum Net of Magna Graecia” and “NETConnect”.
The concept of Virtual Heritage is strictly linked to the field of VR, a technology that can provide a convincing experience of environments and objects which existed in the past and are lost nowadays. Anything that has been present in ancient daily life can be virtually realized on a computer through the interpretation of the remaining tangible evidences: cities, specific buildings and squares, houses and the objects in them. In this way, ICT are employed in the process of displaying “intangible heritage”, that is “the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills — as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith — that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their Cultural Heritage” (UNESCO, 2005). A great number of associated information (i.e. archaeological data, aerial photos, texts) can be available at the click of a mouse.