Sunday, March 22, 2009

Marine Corps Museum Virtual Tour to IOC March 30th

I was given a chance to view the Beta version of the Marine Corps Museum's Virtual Tour. I have to say it is pretty cool.

That is an understatement, if I have ever made one.

Its more than "pretty cool", it is amazing!

Yes, I pressed every button and attempted to watch every video. I have a few comments/suggestions I will be submitting to them.

Oh, by the way IOC means Initial Operating Capability. I could also say they were going to be deploying the virtual tour but I have found any mention of deployment to anyone with military connections means you are "DEPLOYING". Prior to my software's IOC, I kept using IOC and deployment interchangeably and the Marines kept asking me where I was deploying too.

The interactive tour will be released in phases. Phase 1 is a tour of Leatherneck Gallery. Sorry, you can't get there by clicking the picture. I was only given this opportunity to preview the site if I promised to not reveal the URL.

Virtual tour 1

I am sharing some hyper snaps of a SMALL portion of what you will see on the site, to tease you. Once your tour enters the Leatherneck gallery, you have the ability to take a 360 degree view of the space. Kind of like the 360 views you get of houses on Realtors' sites. Your virtual tour guide walks you up to each artifact in the gallery and gives you a brief description of it. You may choose to take a closer look by clicking on the artifact. When you click on the artifact, an artifact description window opens (see below).


This window gives you the specifications of the artifact. You can also manipulate the Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) of the artifact to get a 3D look. I really like this feature because you can't really look at the aircraft at EVERY angle in the museum. Can you tell what aircraft is pictured below? (I'll put the answer at the end of the blog).

Virtual tour 4

In addition to the artifact 360, if you press the tab "Docent Stories" at the top of the window or the bottom right hand side of the window where the red arrow is, a new window opens. This window contains several docent narrated video clips giving you additional details about the item.

Virtual tour 2

Docent, Major Jack Elliot (ret) gives you the bonus stories on all of the aircraft in the gallery. Anyone into creating models of military aircraft may recognize his name. He is the author of the blue books that modelers use to make sure their paint schemes, insignia and weapons are accurate. He is the walking encyclopedia of all that has flown and that does fly for the United States Marine Corps.

All of the docents you will meet on the tours were once active duty Marines. They have so much knowledge and have great personal stories, I hope they do some additional interviews with these folks. I'm actually going to try to bring you some of their stories here on my blog.

My favorite features of the tour are the movie like tour and the additional docent film clips. I hope the hyper snap teasers I have shown have primed your appetite. As soon as they make the tour public, I'll post it.

This project was conceived by Steven Wallace. According to General Christmas, after a generous donation was received, Wallace, the Museum's Director, Lin Ezell, the marketing team and Interface Multimedia went to work to "Make it so".

Each phase, or chapter, will be tour of another gallery. Guess what they are planning for May:

Virtual tour 3

The answer to my trivia question about the aircraft front profile from the middle of this entry: That aircraft is an F4U Corsair, one of the most powerful aircraft of World War 2. This particular model was flown during the Korean War. That is how powerful it was.

This virtual tour is very well done. The only thing I have seen that comes close is the virtual tour of the CIA Museum. The virtual tour of the National Museum of the Marine Corps trumps the CIA Museum tour as it is all CAD animation. I like the "live" feel of the Marine Corps museum tour. You are seeing the Marine Corps Museum as it really is. Who knows if the CIA really has an actual museum anyway?

Speaking of the CIA museum, the only reason I know about this is I happened to catch it on the morning news programs. I was so excited about it that I blogged about it. I wonder if the National Museum of the Marine Corps folks have contacted the Networks? I'll have to ask.

The IOC/deployment/go-live date for the National Museum of the Marine Corps virtual tour is Monday March 30th. If you don't see it promoted on Good Morning America or the Today Show, you better believe I'll have a link here.


ProphetJoe said...

F-4U Corsair

Samantha West said...

I loved the tour too, I thought the Marines walking into the musuem at the beginning really "swept you in" with excitement.

I had a blast taking the tour and found I had a huge grin on my face most of the time. I really liked the docent stories as well. I kept looking for YOU though! giggle

Jonathan Rick said...

Hi Jennifer: Thanks so much for this great post (and the great screen shots). So glad you enjoyed the tour--can't wait to get you the final version.

RangersGirl said...

Hi Samantha, wasn't it fun to be part of the pre-screening group? They do all of the filming for these things during the week, when I am working - - so none of me in the background.