The Limits of Virtual Reality and the Application of Technology to Real Everyday Life is Expanding all the Time and Mapping is no Exception.
What Is Mapping?
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Mapping is a relatively modern technique that involves often irregular surfaces over which images designed exclusively are projected, giving a 3-d sensation of the projected action really happening over that surface. As every piece of technology ever created by men, the modern software used for it nowadays is capable of projecting diverse images in different areas of the surface. This technique can be applied to small surfaces as well as huge ones and can involve as many image projectors as needed to cover such area.
How Did Mapping Start?
Well, it is not a surprise to say that the first ones in using something very similar to mapping (wasn´t called that way back then) were the Disney Corporation when the Haunted Mansion Ride was first opened at Disneyland back in 1969. The technology was used to project the images of the haunted mansion characters (filmed in 16mm) and make them appear animated to the scared visitors.
A lot of time went by since that moment and the current trends in mapping involve way more sophisticated uses as the technology behind the phenomenon was improved. There have been historical uses as the projection over the Sidney Opera House in May 2012 in which through mapping over a large surface, the artists who created the landscape shrugged the surface and made people appear from beneath. Another very exciting use is as the scenography for some theatrical plays or dancing sequences like this Sila Sveta performance in which the actor/dancer interacts with the forms that are being projected but aren´t really present in the scene. The current trends of this ever-evolving relatively young technology seem to take it into artistic lands rather than an everyday use.
The Future Of Mapping
While it is still a quite rare and expensive technology to deploy because it takes a lot of time and a big investment to create something that´s credible, current apps like Snapchat and Instagram provide real-time filters that provide some kind of mapping to the faces of the users. This might be a future use of mapping, bringing it a little more into everyday life while remaining a state-of-the-art scenography for future theatre plays or even to explain historical events at specific places; imagine walking the little sidewalks of Machu Picchu completely restored to its glory days through mapping.