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Review 2 – Monday

Write a review of a Virtual Reality history website (virtual tour or video).

Please indicate by stating “Review 3” as the heading of your review and ensure that you provide the title and a link to the website chosen.

Due- 21st April 2023 by 11:55pm


  1. sarayaganesh says:

    Review 3
    Title: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

    “The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History” is the website in which I chose to use for my evaluation. It is essentially a website with an immersive platform that is meant to provide to those who are unable to visit the museum in person with virtual tours of its exhibits. I would say that the website’s major goal is to provide a digital experience that allows visitors to explore the museum’s extensive collections and learn more about various natural history themes in order to entice visitors to potentially visit later on.

    Having said that, I would say that the website’s target audience is broad, embracing virtually anyone who is interested in natural history and science. That is whether they may be students, educators, researchers, and potentially even families. In my opinion, the content offered on the website is acceptable to the target audience since it satisfies the aims of providing visitors with an interesting and educational digital experience that is not comprehensive in nature.

    The website’s homepage is also well-designed and contains an intuitive navigation system that makes it simple for users to locate what they are searching for. That is, whether they are looking for permanent displays, previous exhibits, current exhibits, or even narrated tours. Aside from that, the website’s navigation is quite simple, with clear search features and hyperlinks to all related content.

    I especially appreciated how, when viewing the relevant exhibitions, visitors are allowed to go into another room by utilizing the arrows that are provided on the exhibits themselves. Additionally, I also thought that the website’s ‘zoom’ feature is fantastic, as it allows you to zoom in as much as you like and easily read the important content on each exhibit. Furthermore, the navigation bar contains access to numerous exhibitions and collections, as well as information on future events, educational materials, and even research possibilities, which is quite great. Moreover, I also liked the fact that they employed a “Did you know” function on the site’s “Research” tab, however, I do think that they could’ve contributed more of those to the website, perhaps on each webpage.

    Regarding design, I believe that the website’s structure is effectively organized, with clear section headings and virtual cues to direct users through the material. Furthermore, the color scheme and typography utilized on the website are consistent, making it aesthetically pleasing, with large font sizes and high-contrast text, making it easy to read.

    According to LokaLocal 2021, an excellent virtual tour website is one which has high-quality and realistic pictures/content that allows users to experience the ambiance and look at the area from all viewpoints. This was, in my opinion, one of the website’s strengths, since it made use of high-quality content and interactive elements that allowed me to thoroughly examine the displays. Apart from that, the website features instructive films and audio tours, both of which enhanced my experience.

    While the website has many strengths, there are a few flaws that could be improved. For example, owing to the enormous quantity of information offered, I think that some of the exhibit pages can be overwhelming. While the website has a lot of instructional content, some users may find it difficult to browse and assimilate all of the information given.

    Also, while the design of the website is visually pleasing, it may not be entirely suited for mobile devices. Certain pages and graphics may not appear correctly on smaller displays, which may detract from the user experience for visitors using mobile devices to access the website.

    Overall, the website of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is well-designed and simple to use, providing visitors with an entertaining and educational digital experience. However, as with any website, there is always room for improvement, but the Smithsonian’s website does indeed set a high bar for other museum websites to follow.

    “What Makes a Good Virtual Tour? 6 Elements to Boost Your Marketing in 360°.” 2020. LokaLocal. December 1, 2020.

  2. The Louvre Museum in Paris is one of the world’s most famous cultural institutions, and its website,, is an excellent resource for anyone interested in exploring the museum’s vast collections. In particular, the online tours section of the website is an outstanding feature that allows visitors to experience the museum’s treasures from the comfort of their homes.
    The online tours section of the Louvre’s website offers a range of virtual tours, from a basic overview of the museum’s highlights to more in-depth tours of specific collections, such as Egyptian antiquities or the paintings of the Italian Renaissance. The tours are beautifully presented, with high-quality images and informative text that provides context and background information about each work of art.
    One of the standout features of the online tours is the ability to zoom in on individual works of art, allowing visitors to see details that might be missed in person. The interactive maps and navigation tools make exploring the museum’s galleries and collections easy, and the audio guides provide a helpful accompaniment to the visual experience.
    Overall, the Louvre’s online tours are an exceptional resource for art and culture enthusiasts.
    However, one issue with the website is its navigation. While the online tours are easy to find, other website areas, such as the educational resources, need to be more visible and can be difficult to locate. This can make it challenging for visitors to find the information they need and may result in frustration.
    Another area for improvement with the website is its design. While the visuals are stunning, the layout can be cluttered and overwhelming. The abundance of information can be challenging to digest, and using small fonts and dense blocks of text can make it challenging to read.
    In addition, the website’s search function could be improved. While it is helpful that visitors can search by a variety of filters, the search results can be overwhelming, and it can be challenging to find the specific information you are looking for.
    Lastly, while the educational resources are comprehensive, they could benefit from more interactive features. While the digital classroom offers lesson plans and activities, they can feel outdated, and there could be more opportunities for visitors to engage with the content more interactively.

  3. jolierooplal says:

    Review Three (3):

    Name of Site: George Washington’s Mount Vernon Virtual Tour
    Link for Site:

    Digital history is a worldwide endeavor that involves the dissemination of historical information and knowledge through an internet-based repository. This forum facilitates the presentation of innovative approaches to the interpretation and representation of historical artifacts by individuals from diverse global locations (Salmi, 2020). An exemplary history website is characterized by lucid navigation, hyperlinks, uniform font size and style, dynamic historical content, interactive methods of engaging with the past, and regular updates. It is imperative to acknowledge that digital history is a constantly evolving field that incorporates technological advancements ranging from rudimentary “web publishing applications to cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) technology” (Norwich University Online 2020). The utilization of such displays enables the audience to gain an appreciation for historical content. In addition, the digital history tour of George Washington’s Mount Vernon provides an engaging way to learn about the life and legacy of one of the most prominent figures in American history. Through cutting-edge technology and interactive exhibits, the virtual history website enables users to obtain visual imagery while simultaneously acquiring vital knowledge.
    The 360-degree view of the estate is one of the most intriguing and enticing aspects of the virtual website, as it piques the viewer’s interest and makes them extremely inquisitive about what is to come. In addition, it adds a realistic element that allows users to feel as if they are physically present at the actual location. Furthermore, the tour offers thorough explanations and contextualizations of every spot’s historical significance. Each description offers the reader an in-depth understanding of the lifestyle of George Washington. As per academic inquiries, the presence of descriptions in a virtual tour of a website serves the purpose of imparting knowledge pertaining to the observed content. Thus, the audience has a thorough understanding of the importance of the website.
    Moreover, findings suggest that the inclusion of descriptive details serves to emphasize important aspects or characteristics that may have otherwise gone unnoticed (Chang et al., 2012). Consequently, the descriptions provided can confer significant benefits, as they can enhance the user’s overall experience with the virtual tour’s surreal environment. The interactive aspects of this virtual tour are also noteworthy. Not only can you access the Tour in VR mode, but you can also receive videos and recordings that assist viewers in understanding the events in Washington’s life. Further, findings reveal that videos, as opposed to static photographs, can provide a more dynamic representation of a location, allowing viewers to perceive how different regions of the environment link and flow together. In addition, the recordings provide valuable cultural context and information about the locations (Besoain, González-Ortega, and Gallardo 2022).
    The aforementioned website presents several benefits to its users, however, it also exhibits a few drawbacks. One noticeable issue observed while browsing the website is the absence of interactive components. The tour, despite featuring interactive elements such as 3D models and video representations, is comparatively less equipped than other examined websites or virtual excursions. Some virtual tours enable users to navigate through the location using animated avatars, providing a simulated experience akin to walking through the site. Furthermore, it is important to note that unlike in a virtual gaming environment, individuals who are observing the action are not afforded the ability to control any of the actual props. As a consequence, the website may fail to effectively capture an individual’s attention as they could potentially be diverted by the presence of stationary objects. Nevertheless, possessing this attribute may ultimately enhance the overall satisfaction of the experience.
    The limited mobility and restricted viewpoints experienced by visitors on the estate can be perceived as either a constraint or a disadvantage, depending on one’s perspective. The acquisition of an in-depth awareness of the property’s size, layout, and views from multiple vantage points may pose a challenge. Likewise, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the property’s atmosphere, an in-person visit may prove more advantageous than a virtual tour. Overall, the tour, while offering valuable insights into the historical significance of Mount Vernon, may not fully replicate the immersive and experiential aspects of an independent visit to the site.
    In conclusion, the virtual website exhibits an aesthetically pleasing layout and font, coupled with effortless navigation capabilities. The website exhibited a few shortcomings, including a restricted range of interactive components. Nevertheless, the entirety of the website was highly captivating and immersive, evoking a sense of physical presence within the depicted environment. In general, it is my opinion that this virtual website is among the most aesthetically pleasing ones I have encountered. With minor adjustments, it has the potential to be exceptional.

  4. Review 3
    Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

    The following review is based on a Virtual Reality history website and the website which was chosen is called the Smithsonian National History Museum of Natural History. The website utilizes virtual reality which is “a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real, making the user feel they are immersed in their surroundings (“Virtual Reality, the Technology of the Future – Iberdrola” 2023). The main aim of the museum is to allow further understanding of the natural world through a virtual tour, their mission statement “Understanding the natural world and our place in it” can further be linked to the reasoning behind the virtual tour presented on the website.
    In my opinion I believe that the website does a very effective job at presenting the virtual tour of the museum. The homepage is very easily accessible and easy to navigate since everything is presented to persons visiting the website. The various exhibit hyperlinks which are available for access to the virtual tours are presented in a manner which would allow a variety of target groups to be able to easily access the tours. The categorization of the various exhibits would also allow for persons searching for specific tours/information to acquire it easily and possibly in a timely manner instead of having to sift through the website extensively. The various exhibit categories are headed with bold titles which I believe is also a good factor for easy access since it would help persons visiting the website with finding exactly what they may be looking for since titles would stand out more. The list of individual tours under the subcategories are also very extensive which shows that museum aims to really provide extensive understanding for a variety of areas concerning natural history and the natural history experience.
    The actual tours are also presented in such a way that allows for audiences to be sufficiently educated on the exhibit they decide to tour. When the specific exhibit link is selected to begin a tour, there is a map that is presented to help with navigation. I believe this map helps users navigate the room being toured and allows for visual representation of which point in the room that you currently are, it also shows you the direction in which you are facing or heading by use of a green light. I believe that map presented is a very good feature added and it helps boost the functionality of the website, it makes it easier for the visual aspect of things and for overall navigation throughout the tour.
    When going through with the tours, the arrows presented on the floor is also a very good feature since it helps users to stay on track and to have a clear path to follow. This also aids with an effortless flow of the tour since it provides access to the next stop throughout the tour. Location of the arrows may be tricky for someone who is navigating with the scroll pad of a laptop, but a navigation bar is presented to the bottom of the screen to help with persons who may have issues with navigating left to right or up and down, this therefore supports the effortless feature that I believe the website provides with navigation. It also further helps persons direct themselves throughout the tour in a manner that would not be too difficult for the various target groups that may come across the site. The navigation bar presented at the bottom of the page not only consists of the arrows to assist in the navigation throughout the tour but it also allows for the user to select the next room they would like to go to. All in all, the navigation bar presents proper functionality for navigation throughout the tour which I believe would attract users to continue to take the virtual tours of the museum.
    The education and understanding aspect of the virtual tour not only allows for a visual and real-life experience for users to gather information but it also provides persons with knowledge about what they are experiencing. Throughout the tour, there are little icons and information stands which are clickable and when clicked it provides information on what the user is currently viewing. This feature supports the mission of the museum since it provides deeper sense of understanding for persons who interact with the website and take the tours which are offered. I believe this feature takes the website to a whole other level because not only is it a virtual reality history website which provides visuals, it also educates and presents a breakdown of the historical exhibit/ artifact presented. The website also presents up close and clear pictures of the artifacts for users to take a look at, it does a great job at making the experience feel like a real-life tour.
    To conclude, the virtual reality history tour presented by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History provides an extensive and sufficient historical tour for persons who visit the website, not only do they provide a real-life experience but they also provide access to a deep level of education and understanding throughout the tour.

    “Virtual Reality, the Technology of the Future – Iberdrola.” 2023. Iberdrola. 2023.

  5. Review 3

    George Washington’s Mt. Vernon Virtual Tours

    The George Washington Mt.Vernon estate is the former plantation estate and burial location of George Washington, the American Revolutionary War general and the first President of the United States, his wife Martha and 20 other Washington family members. The current estate—which is open to visitors—includes a mansion, gardens, tombs, a working farm, a functioning distillery and gristmill, plus a museum and education center (“George Washington’s Mount Vernon” 2019).
    The virtual tour of the building consists of a detailed view of each room inside. Graphics for the site are extremely well done, pictures are not blurry and each item when zoomed in can be seen clearly, embroidery on curtains, pillows and bed sheets are seen clearly as well as pictures and the architecture and woodwork of the house is seen perfectly without any distortion. The house can be seen from the East and West front of the house and there’s clear navigation that allows the user to see the view of the house from different angles. Users can enter from either the central passage or the new room and this gives the effect of making the user feel like they are actually there in person experiencing the tour. In addition navigation is done with clear arrows and buttons and due to this the user will not get confused about which rooms they are entering because there is clear navigation. Throughout the site there are facts written about everything inside the house as well as links to videos and pictures that gives the user more detailed information about the estate and different artifacts inside the house, to access this they simply need to click any of the clear buttons that are located all over the room.
    The design and layout of the virtual tour is very clean and clear and leaves no room for the user to feel confused about what they are seeing in front of them. There is clear navigation, labeling and direction of the cursor. The tour shows every room inside the house along with the cellar, servant’s hall, library, distillery, stables and garden. Users are able to tour the grounds in any direction that they like and there is even a map built into the site of the entire property and if users want a more detailed breakdown of the property there’s a sidebar menu as well which is broken down with all of the different sections of the property and the rooms that are located inside each building.
    Overall I would say that the virtual tour site is well done and whoever created the site and gathered the details took their time gathering information and taking pictures of the site to create this tour. The target audience is anyone with an interest in history, and architecture or interested in learning more about historical sites and because of its easy navigation, anyone can easily use it. The graphics are well done and it shows that whoever is responsible is certainly well trained and put their time and money into the creation of this as it is clearly reflected when the site is presented.

    “George Washington’s Mount Vernon.” 2019. December 13, 2019.

  6. Cheniecesa Wood says:

    Review 2
    Title: Holy Trinity Cathedral Virtual Tour

    According to Noiret (2013), Virtual environments are highly beneficial in creating diverse multimedia depictions of history since they offer various forms of information, including written content, alongside embedded maps, representations of the globe, podcasts, videos, multimedia databases, and more. The Holy Trinity Cathedral Tour started off with an introduction on the about page giving the reader a brief history of the virtual tour then there is the option to launch the virtual tour where the audience can receive a 360 view of the cathedral. The Holy Trinity Cathedral started as a small wooden church called Trinity Church in the early 1800s in Port-of-Spain. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by a fire in 1808. Despite this setback, the cathedral has since been rebuilt and has become “a national landmark” and “geographical icon” in the downtown area. The original purpose of building the church was to strengthen the Anglican Church in the West Indies, which was mostly Roman Catholic at the time of British colonization in 1797. The Holy Trinity Cathedral is a testament to this mission as one of the oldest colonial structures in the country.
    The website however provides clear information on how to access and use the tour to gather relevant information about The Holy Trinity Cathedral. Once you select the button that states ‘launch virtual tour’ it automatically goes to the page to begin the tour where it begins with a picture slideshow with a small timeline, then there are directions of how to navigate the website using a mouse. It was difficult for me to navigate the website on my laptop however I found it pretty easy to use the tour on my smartphone.
    The use of high-quality pictures and videos helped to enhance the tour and made it more engaging; I was able to click on certain images within the cathedral tour to receive information through the use of videos. The pictures aid in the ability of me experiencing the cathedral and having a vivid and thorough tour through the comfort of my home. Although I have never visited The Holy Trinity Cathedral, this virtual tour made me feel like I have physically visited the location, especially since the tour was very thorough and informative. I was able to examine the architectural features of the building since the pictures were of high qualities. Additionally, the use of background music helped to set the atmosphere and settings through the use of songs such as the “Hallelujah Chorus” – adapted by Pat Bisho and others.
    At the bottom of the page, there was the option to view the location of the cathedral, information about the Holy Trinity Cathedral and also a photo album. Moreover, I believe that although the website was visually appealing there should be more information available on the cathedral with regards to spaces and sections such as the artwork and the Pulpit history and about other features of the building. Information under each picture in the photo album would aid the viewer to understand the significance of each of the items and its link to historical content about the Cathedral. Something that stood out to me was the use of the sounding board which would have been used as a microphone back in the days therefore this showed the update of technology within the cathedral.
    Some suggestions to improve the website can be by adding more information icons throughout the cathedral building so persons can gain more in-depth information on various treasures and items throughout the building. There should be more buttons to receive information on different things within the church, there were areas that were emphasized within the tour but there was not much information on it. For someone that is not familiar with cathedrals, I understand that there was some importance within the areas, but the information was not available.

    Noiret, S., 2013. Digital History 2.0. Contemporary History in the Digital Age, Bruselas, Peter Lang, pp.155-190.

  7. karishmaboodoo says:

    Name: Karishma Boodoo
    Website Link:

    From the information available on the website, the navigation menu is located at the top of the page and is easily accessible to users. The menu has several categories, including “Home,” “About,” “Places,” “Blog,” “Contact,” and “Language.”
    Each category has its own subcategories that provide additional information about the Holy Trinity Cathedral, including a brief history, location, opening hours, and contact details. The website also has a search bar located at the top right-hand corner of the page. This feature allows users to quickly search for specific information or content on the website, which can be especially useful if they are looking for something specific and don’t want to navigate through the entire menu.
    The “Places” category in the menu provides a dropdown menu with different regions and cities that can be selected, allowing users to access information on other tourist destinations in addition to the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Another aspect that enhances the navigation experience is the use of clear and descriptive labels for each category and subcategory in the menu. This helps users to quickly understand what information can be found under each category, making it easier to navigate the site and find the information they need.
    Overall, the navigation on the website is well-organized and intuitive, making it easy for users to find the information they are looking for quickly and efficiently.

    The target audience for the Holy Trinity Cathedral website appears to be individuals interested in visiting the cathedral and learning more about its history and significance.
    The website provides information on the location of the cathedral, its opening hours, and its history, which would be useful for individuals planning a visit. The website also features high-quality images of the cathedral’s architecture and interior, which would be attractive to individuals interested in art, history, and architecture. In addition, the website includes information on other tourist destinations in the same region, which suggests that the target audience is travelers interested in exploring this part of the world and learning about its cultural heritage.
    Overall, the website appears to target individuals interested in visiting historical and cultural landmarks, as well as those who are interested in learning about the history and significance of the Holy Trinity Cathedral and the region it is located in.

    The Holy Trinity Cathedral website appears to be easy to use and navigate. The website has a clean and organized layout, making it easy for users to find the information they need. The navigation menu is located at the top of the page, providing quick access to different sections of the website. The menu also has clear and descriptive labels for each category, making it easy for users to understand what information can be found under each section. The website also features a search bar, which allows users to quickly find specific information on the website. The search function works well and is especially useful if a user is looking for a specific detail about the cathedral or the surrounding region. The website also features high-quality images of the cathedral, its architecture, and its interior, which enhances the user’s experience and provides a visual representation of the cathedral and its significance.
    Overall, the website is well-organized, user-friendly, and easy to navigate, providing users with a positive experience when accessing information about the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

    There are several buttons that serve different functions on the Holy Trinity Cathedral website.
    1. “Read More” button: This button appears on some pages, such as the “About” page and the “Blog” page. It allows users to expand the text and read more information about a particular topic.
    2. “Book a Tour” button: This button appears on the main page of the website, and it takes users to a page where they can book a guided tour of the cathedral.
    3. Social media buttons: At the bottom of the website, there are several social media buttons that allow users to share the website or follow the Holy Trinity Cathedral on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
    4. “Contact Us” button: This button appears in the main navigation menu and allows users to contact the Holy Trinity Cathedral through a contact form or by using the provided email and phone number.
    5.”Select Language” button: This button allows users to select their preferred language from a dropdown menu, providing language options such as English, Spanish, and French.
    6. “Launch Virtual Tour” button: This button launches the virtual tour of the Holy Trinity Cathedral. However, the tour itself and the images provided here is a bit blurred and not of the best quality.

    The tour page for the Holy Trinity Cathedral on the Roundtripin website features several images that showcase the interior and exterior of the cathedral, as well as the surrounding area.
    The main image on the tour page shows the exterior of the cathedral, highlighting its intricate architecture and stunning location. This image is followed by several other images that show the interior of the cathedral, including the altar, stained glass windows, and detailed architectural features. The images are well-lit and provide a clear view of the cathedral’s interior. The images are well-lit and showcase the intricate details of the cathedral’s architecture, such as the stained glass windows, the altar, and the ornate decorative features. Additionally, the images are high-resolution, allowing visitors to zoom in and explore the details of the cathedral
    When it comes to the tour itself, the images were noted to be blurred at some times and did not show the best quality to the website users.

  8. deanjeno says:

    Review 3: Virtual Reality History Website

    Trinidad: Holy Trinity Cathedral — Virtual Tour

    This review will give a general description of the website followed by comments on various website components including: layout/presentation, content, communication of purpose, and impact and success at meeting goals.
    Firstly, before launching the tour website viewers are given a brief written history of the Holy Trinity Cathedral and its path to becoming a “geographical icon and national landmark” (Round Tripin 2023) within Trinidad and Tobago’s capital city, Port of Spain. The webpage, in addition to the virtual tour, allows viewers to connect to an external link featuring the Anglican Church’s in Trinidad and Tobago website.
    Upon launching the tour itself, viewers are transported to a new tab where they can view the tour. The tour begins immediately, first with visual aids and a brief history yet again regarding a timeline of important milestones in its history. Following the intro, viewers are presented with a first person view where they control their movements throughout the tour of the facilities. Various aspects of the tour will be expanded upon in the following sections.

    At the start of the tour viewers are presented with the navigation key that details how to operate or move using a computer mouse. It should be noted that even without a mouse navigation is also possible using a laptop trackpad. While doing a 360 degree spin, the viewer is confronted with various flashing white arrows to highlight different rooms and areas within the tour. This is in addition to red information icons. Furthermore, upon entrance to each room there is a soundtrack playing in the background. The camera rotates a full 360 degrees automatically and manually, so that rooms, arrows, and icons are not missed out while offering a high definition look at the interior giving a literal “look around” feel one would have if in person.
    The layout is crisp and clear, assisted by the flashing arrows and icons so that one is never lost. The audio and soundtrack is highly appropriate to the tour’s setting. Furthermore, navigation can be said to be relatively easy. Flashing information icons allow the viewer to zero in on key historical spots not just visually, but with the added aid of recorded video when someone standing in said space gives a short, clear and effective description and explanation, much like an actual tour guide. These navigation aids both assist and help bring the tour to life in its presentation of historic architecture with video ‘tour guide’ like historical renditions that the viewer can choose to interact with and view.
    Additional features within the layout include the zoom function as well as the ability to manual shift the first person view at a 360 angle whether up, down or all around. The tour even captures details on the flooring and ceiling with some zoom in options. While the zoom function is not endless, navigating closer to a desired space expands some of the zoom option. For example, by moving through the aisle using the arrows to the western door, areas on the western side near the door can be zoomed in further while standing there than opposed to further away.
    Another additional and appreciated aspect of the tour’s presentation is the absence of persons or objects that may distract from or obscure the view of areas within the tour. For example, there is no one sitting in the pews or standing in the aisles or walkways. Yet rather than merely still pictures or images, the complete navigability of the 360 first person view allows for a sense of interaction with what would otherwise be a fixed geographical constructed space/building. Yet the presentation brings aspects of said building to life.
    It should be noted that at the bottom of the screen has three buttons: location, information, and photo album. The location gives a google maps pin of the actual location of the site. The information button recounts a brief historical overview similar to that of the “about” page. Finally the photo album opens a window with key images an accompanying plaque as applicable of key monuments and architecture. Aspects on the tour that may not have been as close up via the zoom function are clear in the direct photo album as well.
    Overall, layout and presentation of the website is excellent.

    The tour proposes to present the Holy Trinity Cathedral and the content is centred on such. In addition to the 360 visual view, key interactive information spots contextualise the tour while providing important historical snippets as it relates to the Cathedral itself. For example, in the information icon labelled “The History of the Slaves’ Altar”, viewers learn important history as it relates to the relationship between religion and slavery, however it is situated within the context of the Cathedral. The altar for slaves faced the opposite direction from that of plantation owners and, according to the video provided, the slaves would have to go fetch the plantation owners children if they were acting up, calm them down before returning them. This aspect of history within the Church building was not something I knew prior. While much is said of the role of religion in enslavement, this contextualise brings it closer to home. Especially as the video presenter points on that in the present day Cathedral, there is freedom of worship regardless of race. Thus, it not only presents the Cathedral in a historical viewpoint, but also links it to the present. The content does not shy away from potentially dark moments in the building’s existence but embraces it while showing the change that occurred since then.
 Moreover as it relates to overall content, the flashing information icons are present at various points throughout the tour and provide additional video content with the aid of someone, much like a tour guide, going more in-depth on the particular item, architecture, object, or space. Thus the option to engage in additional content exists in another medium. As it relates to physical visual content, the tour explores various spaces and objects within the Cathedral that may not be immediately visible from outside, for example, the “Lady Chapel” and “The Bishop’s Chair or Cathedral”.
    An additional seemingly minor, yet impactful element of the context is the musical accompaniment throughout the tour. Not only is the musical element complimentary and suitable to a reverent space, but goes further at some points to link the Cathedral to the local landscape by having a song played using the steel pan, the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, in some instances during the tour. So it is not simply a Cathedral, but a Cathedral situated in the Caribbean, specifically Trinidad and Tobago as embodied by the inclusion of the national instrument. Reference is made to music sources on the information page. All renditions were seemingly made by local singers, performers or organisations. This added content touch further situates the tour into a geographical and cultural space while also enriching the experience.
    Overall, viewers are given an extensive tour through the Cathedral with substantial interactive points that relay further content and contextual information that is both informative and relevant to the tour and the understanding of the space.

    Communication of Purpose
    The Purpose of the tour is clearly communicated on the about page and further on the information page. It states: “Take the virtual tour of The Holy Trinity Cathedral. Listen and learn first-hand about its imprint on the religious and cultural landscape of Trinidad and Tobago from Parishioner and tour guide Ms. Kathryn”. The information button remains a constant footer button throughout the tour so that anyone in doubt could refer back to the purpose of and about the tour. By mentioning the imprint on the religious and cultural landscape, the tour communicates to the viewers that it’s purpose or aim is not merely to show the building or architecture, but further expound and contextualise it to the social and cultural setting in which it is physically placed.

    Impact and Success of Meeting Goals
    The purpose, as mentioned above, was clearly met as the interactive information videos made reference to additional context that overall enriched the tour and learning experience. The speaker did not simply sound like a tour guide, but is an actual tour guide and that feel and experience was clearly achieved through the interactive information portals. Viewers did not receive just a look at the Cathedral through visual aids, but an actual tour with an actual tour guide speaking at key locations and about key objects.
    I would dare say that they not only met their goals but exceeded such in the production of this virtual tour that allowed even myself, a local, to learn elements of history I was previously ignorant of. The website is not only informative but takes into consideration the landscape and context in which it resides in the production of a culturally relevant tour of “one of the country’s oldest colonial era structures”. It is indeed impactful learning of this 200 year old structure and it’s history, even more so as it remains in use till today. The virtual tour was indeed a success and expertly rendered.

    This piece sought to review the “Trinidad: Holy Trinity Cathedral — Virtual Tour” and the experience gained as a viewer. The tour’s layout/presentation, content, communication of purpose, and impact and success at meeting goals were all examined and found to be overall excellent. Few to no critiques were observed. As a reviewer, I would recommend this tour not only to those interested in the physical Cathedral, but to those who are interested in the Cathedral’s historical relevance and religious and cultural impact throughout it’s 200 year history.

    Reviewed by:
    Dé. Noel

  9. REVIEW 2
    Louvre Museum Virtual Tour
    The online tours of the Louvre Museum are a wonder of digital curation. The website has a user-friendly layout that makes it simple to browse the different tours and has a very aesthetically attractive design. The tours itself provide visitors an unmatched virtual view of the museum’s exhibits since they are so incredibly comprehensive and engaging. The fact that the tours are divided into sections allows for greater focus to be placed on the artwork on show, but some who like continuous, linked tours may find this to be a disadvantage.
    One critique of the website is that the method of traversing the tour is not constant across different tours, which might be confusing to the user. This discrepancy can be perplexing, especially if a user has grown accustomed to a specific manner of navigation. Furthermore, part of the artwork was hidden, detracting from the entire experience.
    Despite these disadvantages, the Louvre’s online tours are a wonderful method to immerse yourself in the museum’s exhibits from the comfort of your own home. Highly recommended for art and history lovers and those seeking an immersive and instructive online experience.

  10. Alexa Reyes – Review 3
    Louvre Museum –

    In this review, I’ll examine both the technical and visual elements of the Virtual Tour of the Louvre Museum’s galleries. This would be a general overview rather than one that was particular to a floor or room.
    For those who are seeking for something specific, the top page gives you the option to choose the floor you wish to start on, oy you can start on a random one, but each floor has its own virtual tour. The entrance to that floor and a bar with a few buttons at the bottom of the page meets you when you first join in. It’s easy to start spinning in the room, but navigation with both a mouse and track pad is manageable for the users.

    The ability to zoom in or out using the plus and minus buttons is quite helpful, but the maximum zoom setting restricts you from getting close enough to see writings next to exhibits, which restricts the usefulness of it. The broken square that allows you to view content in full screen is a pleasant bonus feature but not essential. Although the question mark that describes how to navigate is beneficial, the fact that it only supports one language makes it very insignificant for those outside of the French-speaking countries, along with the copyright button, which displays credits in a single language. The map button on the right side of the screen can be extremely helpful because it displays your location as well as the direction you’re facing. This can make it easier for you to navigate and understand where you are as well as how much ground you’ve covered. The button that may be used to hide all other buttons is also useful because it can make users feel more involved in the museum and like they are actually walking through it.

    The initial navigation can be challenging because it’s easy to become lost in an area where there are multiple paths displayed but only one of them marked with an arrow as the correct entry point. Because you don’t always approach the room facing the right way, this can give users the impression that there is a glitch in the tour. The arrows that do lead you to the correct way however are noticeable. Upon entering the room, the red icon with the ‘i’ for information is excellent as users can easily read up on the art but limited to the items that only have it.

    Examining the imagery reveals that they are of a great quality and allows you to clearly close ups to the art, which enhances the virtual tour experience. The ability to glance all the way up to the ceiling and all the way down to the floor thanks to the level of detail can make the user feel as though they are actually in the room. Also, small details were paid attention to, such as ensuring proper lighting and no dark shadows when taking the images for the room, allowing a clear view in all corners of the room from afar. It should be noted however that the very rare but noticeable pixelation of certain signs or paintings takes drastically away from user experience.

    Although there are a few small flaws, taking the Louvre’s virtual tour can generally be a pleasant experience. The quality and ease of navigation of the tour as a whole highlights the time and effort that went into making it user-friendly.

  11. ajay gunness says:

    Review 3
    Ajay Gunness
    Title: Civil War: A Letter from the Trenches (360 Video)

    This 4:39 second long video attempts to show what life was like in the trenches during the American Civil War in a 3D YouTube video. The video starts off with a letter titled “A Letter from the Trench” and black screen. Although a short entry, if users quickly move the camera, they can easily become lost and confused. The video carries along the user through a short journey soldiers took as they traversed a trench of a battlefield amidst bombs and gunfire going off around them. It is a visceral and realistic experience depicting the hardships these soldiers faced.

    The video itself carries not in itself, the minutia of historical accuracies but the small story that took place in the chaos of the war, of a letter written by a soldier, to be delivered to his mother that eventually reached her but him. It speaks more to the sacrifice and courage of the soldiers than it does of some true historical representations of the time period of the war, although there is significant care taken to represent the soldiers and battlefield.

    The video is fairly easy to navigate, it is quite clear but as it was built and created to be immersive, through a 3d video or virtual reality headsets, the ability to scan the environment and be only loosely tethered to that of the main actions taking place, allows for much more freedom to explore and a truly immerse experience within the video and the battlefield. The nature of the video, being that it is able to be seen by those without a virtual reality headsets, accessible through the ability to pull the camera and direct it 360 degrees makes it accessible to anyone capable of playing the video.

    The audience the content is directed at, as verified by those in the comment section of the video are mainly enthusiasts of the Civil War Era, with such comments speaking to personal memorabilia passed down from their ancestors such as this comment by “cardo718”, “I have in my possession the journal of my Great Great Grandfather’s journal from the Civil War. He was with the Illinois Regiment. His Journal has a daily entry with short notes starting from January 1864 to January 1865. Describing the long marches, skirmishes and battles, hardships and even the infrequent rest periods in the rear. Marching across the south.” or others such as by “Vladislav”, scrutinizing the historical accuracies of the rifles in the video, “Confederates mostly carried Enfield rifles, which had blued (darker) steel. But it’s possible these guys picked up Springfields. It looks like they are fighting later in the war, where trench fighting was more prevalent and rifles were more scarce”. The audience here seems well tailored to the content produced.

    The content laid within this video does something that other forms of media cannot and that is, put a certain level of control in the hands of the user. If you are reading a story that depicting the same events, even with the imagination filling in the blanks, it can only extrapolate from what is written, a film could present more of the environment, more of the grueling nature of the warfare but not to the same extent as the 3D video. Finally, an exhibition, if genuine memorabilia were sourced, and stories of their owners were thoroughly documented to portray the essential role the artifacts played in saving the lives of their wearers or protecting the lives of others, a more tangible, grounded effect on a similar audience could be attained.

    In conclusion, the video displays a powerful, tactile rendition of the nature of war, of the sacrifice men made in past times, fighting for what they believed in. It showed this, not from the perspective of a solider but from a son and the eventual loss his mother suffered when receiving his letter but not him.

  12. marieayoung0 says:

    Marie Ayoung
    Review 3: Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, United Kingdom

    This virtual reality museum is located in London, United Kingdom but collaborating with Google Arts and Culture there was a virtual tour of the museum’s art that could be accessed and viewed by anyone. According to Renton (2016) the following elements are vital qualities that make an excellent virtual tour; The story, the visuals and quality, functionality, interactivity, web traffic and engagement and lastly, having a call to action. From these categories listed above, I would use visuals, functionality, and call to action to assess the quality of this virtual tour.
    Firstly, with visuals and quality the ‘homepage’ has to be addressed. When clicking the above link unfortunately the initial information presented before the tour was quite underwhelming. Along with a cover picture and the title ‘Dulwich Picture Gallery’ and social media links, nothing else really stood out to me personally that caught my attention to pursue this site further at first glance. Only when I took it upon myself to scroll down, that’s when I saw more content with a light description of the museum and then categories of artwork from the gallery. Only then underneath that, there was the hyperlink that would direct me to the virtual reality tour titled ‘Dulwich Picture Gallery 360 degree room view’. However underneath and nearing the end of the page there was a visual provided by Google Maps that pinpointed the location of the physical museum in London followed by the dates and times that the museum would be open, along with a link to their website. However, it is important to note that the hyperlink provided in the middle on the page is not the only link that could be used to access the tour since there’s another link provided to the top of the page on the homepage picture where there’s an icon with a yellow person figure. That icon will also direct you to the tour.
    Now onto the crucial part, the virtual reality tour. Since this category mainly addresses visuals, the functionality will not be delved into at this moment. From a completely visual standpoint, the content was just a little bit above subpar in terms of the gravitational pull to be enticed and the quality of the pictures posted. Personally, it was interesting to see since I was a first time viewer but to say this was compelling enough to reel me back in as a second time visitor was very unlikely. The 360 view of the content was substantial because the tour allowed me to click on the screen to move closer to the portraits as if I were actually visiting the museum physically which was something that was appreciated. This option was useful because patrons would like to observe this kind of content closely and intensity but also there’s other visitors with visual limitations that would appreciate this aspect, especially for short sighted viewers having that option to zoom in was courteous. For all of the 360 images provided I’d say the quality was clear and appealing especially when zooming in, the artwork was showcased to the best of its ability being an online tour and there’s no true complaints about the quality of content posted for the virtual tour. On the contrary, since this was a virtual tour of the real museum, some of the 360 photos posted were at different angles that may be higher or lower since that is how the artwork was placed in the museum. Although this cannot be avoided because the virtual tour just showcases the physical site, some of the angles from the 360 shots had a bit of glare to it since (what I believe was the natural light) from the museum caused a bit of a white cast to show over the pictures. This could be seen in the last section of pictures with the ‘Richard Lovelace’ portrait and others and with this section it was interesting to note that the option to tap on parts of the screen to zoom in wasn’t granted. The images could be enhanced but the option to zoom was not granted like in other sections that were at eye-level. While I understand this was a virtual reality tour, so the tour was supposed to be as realistic as possible (Spielmann and Mantonakis 2018), since this a virtual experience, it would have been possible to grant external visitors who can’t visit the site physically, the opportunity to view the content in a unique and closer perspective since they are not actually at the location.
    Lastly, in terms of the visuals, although there was content posted on the artwork within the sites, the descriptions for portraits and paintings were in the visual tour but not readable and even when you click on the description, there was no option to zoom in to read the content neither was there a section posted with the description of the artwork for users to read. Why is it that physical visitors have the opportunity to read the descriptions of the art while virtual users lack this privilege? This was something I thought really hindered the aspect of visuals since I was looking at remarkable pieces but there was no story behind what I was viewing. This really made the content seem lifeless although it was beautiful pieces and this should have been something that was considered for online visitors since this tour was supposed to emulate the ‘real life experience’ as much as possible. This was something that I personally think could have enhanced the elements of perspective and immersion when it came to enticing visitors to interact with the content showcased.
    Next with regard to functionality which was also interconnected with the visuals, this additionally played a very crucial role in granting accessibility to users that actually want to have that realistic experience with this tour. User control and realism are key aspects that bring a tour to life (Ace 2022) and functionality ties these components together. While the artwork was posted with optimal quality, did functionality hinder this experience? To truthfully answer, the user interface was not very interactive and lacked fascinating qualities. To move within the tour there was the option to click on the screen when you’re on a selected picture from the row of pictures below. When clicking within the picture there was the option to zoom into the artwork to get a closer view and there was a ‘+’ and ‘-’ sign to the side, along with a compass to direct or redirect where you wanted to go and it carries you through the museum as if you’re walking through it yourself. However, when clicking within the picture to move your ‘virtual head’ to view pieces, sometimes when clicking too high or too low on the screen it was a bit difficult to redirect your head to visually see what you actually intended to zoom in on. This was an annoying aspect to deal with especially since I was trying to zoom in on the descriptions of the pieces and kept directing my ‘head’ elsewhere and taking a while to redirect it properly. This definitely hindered the flow of the tour and had me fiddling to figure out how to move more than actually being immersed with the art. This coupled with the inability to click higher or lower after certain points made it a bit bothersome to view pieces that were high up on the wall or lower to the ground. Only pieces that were at eye-level were easier to view and smoother to navigate but outside of that specific visual range, it lacked functionality and teleportation from one place to the other and this was a deterrent of interest.
    Trailing along this thought, when it comes to ‘call to action’ this category asks the question ‘So what happens next?’(Ng 2020). This element assesses whether this tour would be convincing or captivating enough to entice online users to revisit the tour or visit the physical site if given the chance. Personally, I will fully acknowledge the beauty of the artwork posted but when it came to the actual tour, the virtual reality tour did not do the museum justice. I don’t feel intrigued to revisit the tour after this review, it fulfilled its purpose but that was merely it. The lack of descriptions for the pieces, coupled with the insufficient functionality and teleportation from one space to the other, truly were the deterring factors that hindered the charm of the artwork displayed. The lack of history to accompany the art robbed the opportunity to bring this tour to life and this really did ruin the appeal. As much as I’d like to see artwork, I’d want to know the story behind it and unfortunately unless I do further research or if I visit the site physically, I won’t be provided with this insight about the art. Not everyone would share the same sentiments but for a virtual reality tour, I feel as though these elements prevented me from having a realistic immersive experience and this discourages me to be interested any further after this point. It was helpful that the homepage had the address also with dates and times for other visitors to find the location and come see the museum but as someone who is unable to do so, I’m not intrigued to find out what’s next for this tour.
    In conclusion, this virtual reality tour was not bad. I would not say that this was a poor virtual reality tour because truthfully, for an art museum tour, the visuals for the artwork were good and realistic quality so that aspect really did fulfil its purpose. However, the issues of functionality and lack of content really did obstruct the true beauty of the pieces and caused a division of quality between physical visitors vs virtual ones. While the virtual tour attempted to grant an accessible and quality service, there has to be some improvements made if this were to be an ‘excellent’ tour that people would revisit and interact with in the future. If a score out of five had to be given for this tour, it would be 2.5/5 but with the critiques and suggested improvements this can definitely be a 4/5 tour to visit.

  13. Jenna Dass says:

    Review 2
    Digital Giza

    The Digital Giza website is an online digital repository of archaeological documents from a variety of institutions. The website is a part of the Giza Project, a non-profit international initiative based at Harvard University.
    The objective of the website is to manage and make accessible the digital archaeology of the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, as well as surrounding cemeteries, tombs, and monuments. Through partnerships with other institutions, the Giza Project aims to consolidate archival data on the Giza Plateau. The website caters to not only scholars and researchers, but also general audiences who are interested in Egyptology, archaeology, or ancient civilizations. One of the main features of the website are the over 20 3D model reconstructions of pyramids and monuments, which also users to take a virtual walking tour of these sites through the use of 3D modelling and panoramic images. Many of these tours contain hyperlinks that open on a new page and show the archaeological records on features located at the sites. These records include primary data and information like archaeological data, maps, plans, photos, and videos. This is a major advantage for researchers and scholars studying these sites and Egyptian history as this primary data is made accessible through the website. The website also includes articles, publications and educational resources that cover the area’s history, archaeology, and ancient culture, as well as an interactive timeline of archaeology at Giza. The website’s design is user-friendly and accessible to a wide range of audiences. The website has a white background, with a mixture of black, brown, and blue text, making it easy to read as the colour scheme does not clash and is not harsh on the user’s eyes. The interface is intuitive, and the search function makes navigating the site easy. Many of the website’s pages are also linked, adding to the ease of navigation.
    The Digital Giza website by the Giza Project is an amazing resource for those interested in the Giza Plateau, its pyramids, and surrounding archaeological sites and monuments. The website offers a comprehensive and user-friendly platform that provides access to a wealth of information and resources. Its interactive virtual tours, database of archaeological data, articles and educational resources make it a valuable resource for researchers, scholars, students, and anyone with an interest in ancient Egypt and archaeology.

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