Is it going to inspire us to travel or make us question the need to? Digital mapping, or ‘3D tourism’, means we can now ‘explore’ many parts of the world via our computers, seeing sights and attractions in three dimensions.
The Sovereign Hill outdoor museum (pictured) in the Victorian town of Ballarat is a good example, has just completed a huge 3D mapping exercise with Google Earth, making it one of Australia’s largest digital mapping projects. Close to 2000 images were taken in order to create a detailed 3D model of the museum’s 120 buildings, which replicate an 1850s gold mining town.
Garry Burns, Sovereign Hill’s director of marketing, says nearly 500 hours of work went into creating the digital version of the museum, allowing people to explore the site via the internet. Burns says travellers are increasingly using the internet to plan their activities and being at the forefront of technology will help make Sovereign Hill ‘top of mind’. Digital mapping is also an educational resource, with the ability to provide historical information on individual buildings and how they would have been used.
Other Australian sites undergoing digital mapping include Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Q1 building on the Gold Coast.