Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Welcome to Virtual Trail Tours!

"Virtual Trail Tours", also known as "Interactive Trail Tours", are comprised of hundreds of high-resolution still images combined into a single movie file. The "Virtual Trail Tour" has been originally developed and inspired by the idea of modernizing and enhancing local and national park system's web presence, functionality, and attraction. "Interactive Trail Tours" can also be driven further to function as a mapping and navigational tool - GPS location, a "Landmark Noting System", and mobile device variable-speed playback allow for worry-free navigation of any trail, any where.


Any park system nationwide can benefit from the adoption of the "Interactive Trail Tour" system by: creation of a greater web presence, generation of more awareness, and improved connection to visitors.
  • Potential visitors will be able to view keystone portions of trails
    • Increasing their interest in attending the individual location
    • Increasing their awareness of the trail and surrounding area
  • Existing .pdf maps can be made into interactive trail maps
    • Visitors will be able to click on individual portions of the trail map to view a "Virtual Trail Tour" of that area
      • This allows a viewer to not only get a feel for the degree of difficulty of a trail, but also the scenery they are going to encounter
  • Quick links to videos could easily be added to the existing web pages that contain listings of downloadable .pdf trail maps
  • Document paved trails, hiking trails, and mountain biking trails
  • Printed maps and text cannot fully encapsulate the essence of a trail
    • Mountain bikers will especially value being able to view the terrain so they can plot their route

When the "Virtual Trail Tour" is pushed even further it becomes a mapping and navigational tool.
  • Movies can be downloaded to mobile devices and then played back at variable-speeds
    • Video comprised of high-resolution images allow for slowed playback without loss of quality
    • Viewers/visitors do not need a WiFi signal on the trail in order to be able to utilize the video service
      • Downloading videos beforehand allows for playback at any time, any where
    • Slowed playback will allow visitors to visually match landmarks to their surroundings
      • This drastically increases park safety due to reduced potential of getting lost
  • GPS coordinates can be mapped to each and every frame
  • The "Landmark Noting System" allows for the addition of "notes" to the video
    • Notable landmarks can be used to aid in navigation
      • Ex. A footbridge appearing in the video can have text that appears to state distances to the next notable landmark

Below are the first two examples of the "Interactive Trail Tour".
Click this link to see the videos in HD on Vimeo.


Cleveland Metroparks

video

This video is the first trial of Nathan Destro's "Virtual Trail Tour" concept. Created by a combination of images captured with the Canon 5D Mark II DSLR paired with a Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 lens mounted to a special cradle, this video serves as a "test-run" to illustrate the potential uses of high-definition "Virtual Trail Tours". It has been originally developed and inspired by the idea of modernizing and enhancing the Cleveland Metroparks system's web presence, functionality, and attraction.

"Virtual Trail Tours" can also be driven further to function as a mapping and navigational tool - GPS location, a "Landmark Noting System", and mobile device variable-speed playback allow for worry-free navigation of any trail, anywhere.


Cascade Canyon at Grand Teton National Park
See this video in HD on Vimeo


video