US National Parks 360-Virtual Tours now made by Google
For those who are planning to travel in the Americas and don’t know where to start, Google has some suggestions for you. All in 360 virtual tours. Nice.
Traveling around the world is relatively a luxurious endeavor for many people. The amount of time and money to invest in a single trip can be overwhelming and sometimes end up being a waste if you don’t even like the place you visited. Now, things can change for the better. Technology has come a long way to make traveling, well at least experience the feeling of it, can be achieved with VR and 350-degree videos. You can now visit a lot of places without even leaving your seat. We are not talking about just watching TV. We are talking about visiting the virtual version of the place we might like to go to.
Google is doing actually this. Using the VR technology to its advantage, it is releasing a section that would give more meaning to the least visited places on the planet: the US National Parks.
The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks is now available in the app named, Google Arts & Culture as an exhibit and interactive documentary in support to the celebration of the 100th year of NPS this month. This shows an exhibit in 360-degree tours with some of the most amazing views of select US National Parks. And mind you, these are not just the ubiquitous and obvious parks, these are the less featured parks.
These includes the following National Parks in this virtual exhibit:
- Kenai Fjords in Alaska
- Hawaiian volcanoes
- New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns
- Utah’s Bryce Canyon
- Florida’s Dry Tortugas
Not to spoil everthing, but the tour will be headed by a local park ranger who knows the parks by heart. They do the voice over and explain the different places and features of the park. It will even let you experience, in VR, to fly over the volcanoes in Hawaii, do underwater dives in the coral reefs in the Dry Tortugas. Do some kayaking through the Alaska’s fjords because you can.
The virtual tours are available both online, in the Google Arts & Culture App on iOS and Android, as well as in the Google Expeditions app for use in the classroom.
Expeditions, available here on Google Play, is Google’s virtual reality teaching tool that lets students travel the world with their teacher acting as the guide. The app offers 360 degree and 3D imagery of over 200 places around the world, and allows for a VR experience when used with the Google Cardboard viewer.