The Elbląg Canal is a unique place where „ships sail on the grass”. As a navigable waterway with a complex hydrotechnical system, it is a unique monument on a global scale, visited every year by thousands of tourists from Poland and abroad. It is the only one of its kind in the world – in operation for more than 160 years – using a technical solution powered solely by water energy. Thanks to five sets of slipways, on a stretch of the Elbląg Canal that is less than 10 kilometres long, ships overcome a height difference of more than 99 metres along the navigation route.
The VR application 'Pochylnie na Kanale Elbląskim’, allows you to understand the principle of operation and see the workings of these unique pieces of equipment from the perspective of the driver and signalman operating them. Moving to a virtual engine room or to the top of the Elbląg Canal slipways, the user has to perform a number of necessary actions in order to correctly carry out the process of passing two ships through the slipways avoiding disaster. Thanks to the application, it is also possible to take a virtual walk through all five sets of hydro-technical and mechanical equipment that make up the slipways, during which we learn about their history and functionality.
Thanks to the acquired digital representations, it was possible to create a very faithful copy of the engine room, to which we move during the VR experience. The process itself and the reproduction of the necessary activities during the simulation was positively evaluated and tested by the drivers operating the slipways.
The application has been realised as part of the project 'Virtual glass of the slipways of the Elbląg Canal’, co-financed from funds of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Fund for the Promotion of Culture and the Self-Government of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship.