Monday, June 21, 2010

An Immersive Virtual Tour of the Grand Canyon

This spring Thomas Hayden, one of the original producers of Google Streetview Imagery, recorded a trip through the Grand Canyon. Hayden recorded his trip using Gigapan technology. Gigapan allows photographers to capture complete 360 x 360 degree images. The images are then stitched together to allow viewers to explore the entire scene. For the tour of the Grand Canyon Hayden geolocated each image using the Google Earth browser plugin. You can now virtually tour the Grand Canyon through Thomas Hayden's Gigapan photography. (Note: you do need the Google Earth browser plug-in to view the scenes in the tour). In addition to the Gigapan imagery, Hayden has also published 48 videos from the trip. Some of the videos do a nice job of explaining the geology of the Grand Canyon's many features.

















Applications for EducationOne of the special education teachers at my school used to teach an entire unit on geology by walking students through the Grand Canyon with pictures she had taken. Hayden's Gigapan imagery would enable more teachers to use the same model for teaching geology.
Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Tour Mount Redoubt in Google Earth
Forces of Nature - Earth Science Resources

The Volcanoes of Yellowstone