Sail Traffic Instructions
German Museum of Technology Berlin, 2003
The aim of this LBE (Location Based Entertainment) installation is to provide a realistic impression of 16th Century sail traffic instructions based on regulations recorded in 1558 by the Dutchman Cornelis Anthonisz. His nautical instructions pertain to shipping entering the River Elbe en route to Hamburg.
The chart of the Elbe drawn by Melchior Lorichs in 1568 serves as cartographical reference. The interactive installation copied the style of this chart in its depictions of landscapes, waterways, ships and buildings.
Standing in front of a 180°–projection installation visitors adopt the role of a ship’s helmsman and follow the instructions of the captain, bringing the virtual reality ship safely upstream to Hamburg. Steering is done by means of the tiller, a mechanism common to the rudders of 16th and 17th Century ships.
The tiller responds to the movements of ship and current through physical force feedback and gives the visitor a realistic sensation of steering a ship.