Pandemic-related restrictions on movement will make this summer unusual. Luckily, 3D reconstructions and virtual reality will make it easier to explore the most attractive corners of the planet without leaving your home.
Anyone who has always dreamed of venturing inside an Egyptian tomb, can now do so. At least, they can through virtual reality. Egyptian authorities have backed this technique to show some of the most emblematic monuments in the world. Therefore, for example, there are itineraries with tours through the tomb of Mena, a top Egyptian civil servant in Luxor. Another project, promoted by Harvard University, shows the pyramids as they were when they were built, 4,500 years ago.
Google is using the Grand Canyon to launch its collection of images obtained by the Street View’s Trekker, making it possible to see more inaccessible places. A dozen hikers used this technique to record several routes through this wonder of nature, to ensure that spectators can feel for themselves that they are walking along the steep paths. Bright Angel and a night camping at Ghost Ranch are just two of the adventures that can be experienced through 3D.
It has been said that at least 10 years are needed to visit the Hermitage Museum in depth. On the banks of the Neva River, in Saint Petersburg, this giant complex is made up of six buildings, including the Winter Palace, the previous residence of the Tsars, which houses over three million works of art. The museum’s website offers an impressive 360º tour which, in addition to taking us through innumerable rooms, provides information about the pieces if we click on the ‘i’.
Wildlife is one of the greatest attractions of travelling and webcams in natural parks or zoos showing the animals’ movements live can help us to discover this. One of the most popular sites is Explore.org, located 50 km from Cape Fear in North Carolina. This completely addictive webcam consists of an underwater camera that shows life under the waters of the Atlantic, with an amazing profusion of species. The real stars, without any doubt, are the sharks that abound in these waters.
Another opportunity for seeing nature from below, this time in a cave, takes ‘travellers’ to Vietnam. Located in the national park of Phong Nha-Ke Bang, Han Son Doong is the largest cave in the world. National Geographic offers a 360º virtual tour of its interior. One of the attractions of the ‘walk’ is that the sounds of the environment have been added, accompanying spectators while they discover stalagmites that are up to 70 metres high, along with the mysterious, jungle-like vegetation.
Very few people, mainly explorers and scientists, have had the unique chance of visiting one of the most remote corners of the planet, the Antarctic. The New York Times has now made public several virtual reality videos that reveal the mysteries of the frozen continent. The images show 3D sub-aquatic, land and aerial views of places such as the Ross Sea or the McMurdo Sound and they are accompanied by informational voice-overs.