Here we go. We have launched the first phase of Catalog.Earth and our Kickstarter campaign. Our goal: raise $12k to capture 360 footage of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier before it’s too late.

NASA has deemed it “one of the most rapidly retreating glaciers in the world,” and over the past year Saba and I have developed a series of interactive and immersive experiences to express the glacier’s transformation in virtual reality.

We were shocked by how little publicly accessible footage exists of our endangered landscapes and saw an opportunity to archive these places with the most immersive technology available: 360 video and audio.

That was the easy part. Now that we’re trying to raise support for an initial expedition to the Columbia Glacier, we are faced with the emotional and operational challenge of managing a Kickstarter campaign. I thought my background in marketing would help, but everything is different when it’s personal.

Asking for help is hard. Asking the people you know and love is harder.You’re passionate and uncomfortable. Committed and unsure. Excited and awkward. Confident and terrified.

Our vision of Catalog.Earth is a public platform where anyone can access 360-degree 4k video and audio recordings of perishable places as Public Domain under the Creative Commons license — that means for free. Landscape extinction isn’t just an environmental problem; it’s a human problem. Urbanization, deforestation, tourism, war, and climate change are forever affecting our planet, and many of our most striking landscapes are already lost.

But documenting these places comes at a cost and requires participation. We invite people to give us feedback, ask questions, and give suggestions.

For those excited by Catalog.Earth, we encourage people to share this post, our Kickstarter campaign, and support our expedition to Alaska!