3-D glimpse of Shanghai World Expo a mouse click away

The organising committee is trying to provide a 3-D Shanghai World Expo garden in the virtual world so as to make the 159-year-old traditional exhibition accessible to every netizen across the world. "The 3-D website is unprecedented in the World Expo history," said Wang Liping, who is in charge of the 3-D Shanghai World Expo website program.

Around 500 staff have been working round the clock for the website' s official opening on May 1, he told Xinhua news agency. The proposed website www.expo.cn will consist of several parts, including "site tour", "interactive community" and "future city". Clicking the "site tour", more than 150 3-D pavilions will be shown on the map.

Users can click any pavilions they like, then mascot "Haibao" will bring them to the chosen pavilion and give a brief introduction about the display. There's also an interactive community area for online visitors to share their experience of the virtual trips. The "future city" is the most interesting and innovative part of the website.

It is similar to a computer game. After downloading a software, users can become one character in the game, with the World Expo garden as background. They can participate in 207 activities as part of the game. "The 3-D pavilions are expected to stay online even after the conclusion of the expo," said Wang. The World Expo garden is expected to receive 70 million visitors between May 1 and October 31.

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