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Landmarks Go Virtual

Landmarks Go Virtual

New tech allows exploration of Middle Island and Flagstaff Hill from home

Middle Island and Flagstaff Hill can be explored from anywhere in the world thanks to two new digital experiences launched just in time for the school holidays.

For the first time since the islands closure to the public in 2006, people can now experience the hidden world of wonder that is Middle Island, using augmented reality.

The Middle Island experience uses new photogrammetry technology that pieces together hundreds of high-resolution drone photographs.

This means that smartphone users can now place Middle Island in their own homes (in a virtual sense) and explore the many caves, find penguin huts and hangout spots of the guardian maremma dogs, with an incredible clarity and zoom capacity to spot details they may not otherwise notice from a simple picture.

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The Flagstaff Hill virtual tour was filmed using 360-degree cameras, with users able to navigate their way around the village and learn more about life in the 19 th century from the virtual tour guide.

The tour works even better with a smartphone and virtual reality (VR) headset, providing a fully immersive experience.

Warrnambool Mayor Tony Herbert said that while both experiences were timely given the current COVID-19 restrictions in place, both had the potential to be well used for years to come.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that individuals, businesses and other organisations have embraced digital technology in new and creative ways,” he said.

“In the future we can use this model for experiential website design, virtual reality tours and gaming applications. One day we will be able to add birds, dogs and even foxes to the experience to make it even more exciting.

You can find the Middle Island augmented reality model at www.visitwarrnambool.com.au/middle-island while the Flagstaff Hill virtual tour is at www.flagstaffhill.com.

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