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Reviews of the CD-ROM Layers of Rome by Roger Trancik, winner of the 2001 national Communications Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.


The Book Reader: America's Most Independent Review of New Titles
Scotts Valley, CA
Fall/Winter 2001/02, Page 30.

Layers of Rome. By Roger Trancik. Live & Learn Inc., CD-ROM, $129. This is not just a gift, it's a world. Aptly named, ancient history is embedded in the various layers that Rome has built on over the centuries. And this CD-ROM uses video, sound, color photography and 3D models and animation to bring to glorious life what glorious Rome was like. Traveling through various streets in the ancient city, we are presented with full-color virtual renderings of the buildings and the people. There are some 150 city spaces and structures, and information about an enormous number of different architectural projects. An animation rockets you to the site where your arrival is met by Emperor Constantine, the Layers of Rome 'tour guide'. Base models, study area models, photo-tour pages, movie pages with sounds and voice animations and 360 degree rotations. A puzzle page. Various historical precincts - Navona, Farnese, Pompey. The focus is on one square mile of Rome - Campus Martius - that has a large amount of ancient structured modified and rebuilt and reused. What is the relationship between the ancient city and the modern one? What are the terms used to describe Rome? Stadiums and street overlays and ancient baths and facades of ancient temples. You hover over the model and click on several study areas; included in the visual model is an animated scale which gives a good feel for the size of things. A brilliant use of modern technology to give eternal Rome a profoundly living presence.

Jay Bail, Editor


Landscape Architecture Magazine, Washington DC
March 2001, Page 18.

C A R P E D I E M :



In truth, Rome was not built in a day, or even a millennium. However, many of the city's original urban planning ideas have stood the test of time. Unlike modern development, the city of Rome has matured with an integrated urban form, redeveloping within its borders for more than two thousand years

Layers of Rome, an interactive CD-ROM designed by Professor Roger Trancik, focuses on the development of a one-square-mile area of Rome known as Campus Martius &endash; or the Field of Mars &endash; an area with a large concentration of ancient structures that have been continuously modified and reused throughout history.

With "Emperor Constantine" as a virtual guide, telling a dynamic story of Rome's growth and development, the CD-ROM features more than 170 urban spaces and structures (ancient and modern). By combining historic documents with modern-day photo and video documentation, computer-based 3D modeling and digital imaging, the CD-ROM functions as a "digital textbook", capturing a visual and cultural overview of the relationship of the layout of ancient Rome to its modern visage.

Heather Hammett, Staff Writer

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