Vectorial Elevation Help
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Designing a vectorial elevation

Even though the installation is no longer operative in Mexico City you can still use the virtual interface to design your own vectorial elevation. A geometry search will be done through the archives to find five designs which resemble your own.

Follow the "Elevation" link and press the "Design now" button to load the Java applet. This can take several minutes depending on your internet connection speed.

Selecting searchlights

You may select and deselect individual searchlights by clicking on their checkbox. You may also select all the searchlights on a building by using the drop down menu. Finally, you may select all, none or invert your current selection by clicking the appropriate buttons.

Pointing searchlights

Click and drag your mouse pointer over the red square target to change the direction of the selected light beams. Using the height bar you may also change the target's height. The order and disorder buttons change incrementally the current direction of all searchlights. There are a few predetermined patterns —pyramid, grid and columns— that may be applied to selected searchlights.

Navigating the 3D world

You view the virtual Zócalo as if you had a camera. If you select the "look" radio button and press the arrows you will point this camera in the arrow's direction. The + and - buttons will change the field of view of the camera. If you select the "go" radio button and press the arrows you will actually move in the world in the arrow's direction. The + and - buttons will move you forward and backward.

You may select one of eleven preset camera locations including the point of view of the project's three webcams. This switch will quickly let you see your design from several perspectives. The fall button will bring a camera down to the floor and level the point of view. You may choose to have the world rotate at any given speed.


AOL users:
In order to view the Vectorial Elevation, you must turn off AOL's proprietary compression format for graphics. In AOL 4.0:
  1) Open the AOL web browser
  2) Click the "Prefs" button
  3) Click the 4th tab, "Web Graphics"
  4) Uncheck the box that says "Use Compressed Graphics"

Macintosh users:
If you are experiencing difficulties with Vectorial Elevation and you are using Netscape, try giving Netscape more memory. To do this, exit Netscape, select the Netscape icon on the Desktop, choose File > Info > Memory from the menus, and give Netscape at least 32 megs of memory, If you are still experiencing problems, try using Internet Explorer instead. You will get the best performance on the Mac with a combination of Internet Explorer 4.5 and the Macintosh Runtime for Java.

If you can't see the video streaming and you are running Internet Explorer on the Mac choose Preferences > Java > Network Access > Security Zones and select "Unrestricted".

Windows/Internet Explorer 5 users:
Unfortunately, if you upgraded to IE 5 from IE 3 with the default install, Java (the Microsoft Virtual Machine) was not installed. How to tell if your IE 5 browser is Java-enabled:

1. Click on the "tools" pulldown menu and click the entry "internet options"
2. Click the rightmost tab of this interface, labelled "Advanced"
3. Scroll to the bottom of the window. If you do not see anything that says "Virtual Machine," "VM," or "Microsoft VM," then Java is NOT installed
4. If is says VM but all you see below it is an unchecked, unlabeled box, then Java is NOT installed.

Solutions to this problem:
1) First, try to install just the Microsoft Virtual Machine.
You can download the Virtual Machine from
Follow this instructions on the page for the download named: "Microsoft VM build 3186 for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0"
2) You can also reinstall Internet Explorer 5 with Java included. You can get the IE 5 installation file at:
Choose Internet Explorer 5 from the list of products, and follow the instructions. In order to install Java, you MUST do a customized install instead of the default, and select the "Microsoft Virtual Machine" checkbox in the list of items to be installed.
You can get more detailed instructions for installing IE 5 by clicking here.