The three-dimensional search engine, linked to Yahoo's home page, will be available Wednesday. It is authored by Caligari's Pioneer, a VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) software tool.
The search engine uses the city analogy, with a courtyard of buildings representing a Yahoo category. Viewers choose to be guided by predefined camera views or roam freely to any building.
Each main category building contains 3D objects representing subcategories, such as a ballerina for "Dance" and rain clouds and lightening for "Weather." The site contains a total of 450 separate VRML objects.
"We're honored that Yahoo chose Caligari to take it into the third dimension," Roman Ormandy, president of Caligari said in a written statement. "The fact that a Web site of this scope can be designed with a $99 software product, shows that VRML is becoming a tool for the everyday user."