What if we could capture the world’s endangered landscapes in 360 video under the Creative Commons license for everyone to use?
Have you ever been to Cambodia’s Boeung Kak Lake? Or heard the humming of wildlife in Brazil’s Rondonia Rainforest? Have you ever wandered the frozen caves of Montana’s Shepard Glacier?
Neither have I, and we never will — because they no longer exist.
Landscape extinction isn’t just an environmental problem; it’s a human problem. This year ISIS destroyed the world’s oldest Christian monastery. Tourism has wiped away some of the world’s most ancient cave drawings. These places are gone. Lost. Only to be remembered in still photography and satellite images.
What if we could use emerging technologies to archive the most perishable places and inaccessible landscapes? What if we could create a public platform, where designers, artists, students, and scientists could access and share immersive and high-resolution footage of these places for free?
Imagine the stories we could tell.
It’s a big idea. We know that. Which is why we are starting small(ish), with one place: Alaska’s Columbia Glacier. We hope to capture footage the Glacier before it’s too late.
Using 360 degree cameras and 3D audio recording technology, we plan to document the present environment and share the footage under the Creative Commons license. We hope to use the content as a tool to inspire others to do the same.
Last year we discovered NASA’s satellite images the of glacier’s retreat over the past thirty years. We wondered how that data might create an immersive first-person experience, and we were shocked at the limited footage available.
In fact, there was no publicly accessible video footage of the landscape, let alone 360 views of the Glacier. Our virtual model used existing photography to imagine and recreate this environment. But models are not enough.
We are working with researchers and photographers, engineers and storytellers. If you interested in collaborating, sharing feedback, or connecting us with like minded idealists, please reach out: @sabasingh / @davidalibs