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WHT Map and panographies

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005 by | Filed Under: Cool Sites


World Heritage Tour is dedicated to preserving the heritage of people all over the world through multimedia and to bringing awareness to countries at the benefit of tourism. “Independent travel is one of the most powerful forces for tolerance, understanding and democracy the world has.”

“The WHTour is creating a documentary and educational image bank of printable panographies and online virtual tours for all sites registered as World Heritage by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Panographies are complete virtual views made from 28 images stitched together, so you can look up and down, turn around, and see the locations just as though you were standing there in person, looking around.

All of the WHTour panographies are shot, assembled, and uploaded on this website by Tito Dupret, a 34 year-old multimedia director from Belgium, and Bijuan Chen, his 26 year-old wife and multimedia assistant from China. So far, they have covered Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eastern Canada, China, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam. This represents 15 % of all 812 WH sites : 125 sites with 700+ panographies. So you can travel to 125 of the neatest places in the world from your computer.

At the top of the page you’ll see three links: World Heritage List, WH Map, and WHTour Info. The neatest part of this site is the WH Map, so click the link and let’s head over there. You’re going to need the free Quick Time viewer to use these panographies.

You’ll see a map of the world with lots of little dots representing areas that they have covered. Choose one and you will get even more options of dots to choose from, these are the specific panographies that you can browse. I chose Eastern Canada first, Quebec, and then Ursulines. When the image is loaded you can use your mouse to rotate the image so that you can take full advantage of the 360 view of the area you chose. I wasn’t expecting neat gray stonework or the interesting image of the monument in the center. To get back to the regular part of the website, click on the location names under the panography.

My next choice took me a lot further from home, I headed over to Southeast Asia. In Cambodia, I chose Ta Phrom, which has three dots. This was as good as being there. You can almost hear the birds and smell the earth. That’s how crystal clear these images are. It’s like standing in one place, and just take in all your surroundings. By putting “Ta Phrom” into a search engine, I learned that this jungle temple was built in the thirteenth century by Jajavarma VII. Ta Phrom was found by French explorers who rediscovered it in the nineteenth century.

WHT is an excellent site that really allows you to explore other parts of the world.


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