Exploring the halls and exhibits of the Natural History Museum can now be done from home thanks to a new initiative with Google.
Using a range of technology, including the company’s Street View feature, it is now possible to go on virtual tours of the London museum from the web or via the Google Arts and Culture app, with more than 300,000 specimens from the museum’s collection open to explore.
Google’s app already contains information and virtual tours on several other museums from around the world.
The first ever T-Rex fossil found, as well as the remains of extinct mammoths, are among the items open to view.
The 360-degree videos and images have also been used as part of the experience, with users able to explore them via virtual reality headsets – including Google’s free self-assemble Cardboard headset, enabling users to look around an exhibit as though they are standing in front of it.
Natural History Museum director Sir Michael Dixon said of the new virtual features: “We want to challenge as many people as possible to think differently about the natural world, because now more than ever, understanding our past and present can help us all shape the future.
“Working with Google Arts and Culture helps us to inspire the next generation of scientists and also to uncover new scientific insights from the collection using digital technology. This is the first step in a great new journey of discovery.”
As part of the virtual reality video content, Google has created specific educational content aimed at teachers and students using Cardboard, which the tech giant said will allow teachers to “bring students across the globe on virtual trips to the museum”.
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