This week the country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and President Obama is inviting everyone to join him on a virtual reality tour of Yosemite National Park to celebrate the centennial.
President Barack Obama has been known for doing unconventional things for a nation leader, such as being the first to open a Twitter account or appear rapping along with Jimmy Fallon. He is now the first President to appear or record a VR tour of a national park.
The president is in charge of guiding the virtual tour of the park thanks to the initiative called Through the Ages: President Obama Celebrates America’s National Parks which shows him along with the first lady, Sasha, and Malia on their Father’s Day visit to the park.
The virtual reality tour was a collaboration between National Geographic, the White House, Oculus and the Felix & Paul Studios to show the beauty of America’s National Parks and celebrate their anniversary.
Immersive virtual tour
The Yosemite National Park is known for gathering portions of three counties Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera and it’s located in the eastern part of California. Yosemite has over 747,956 acres.
Yosemite has over 747,956 acres that include granite cliffs, waterfalls, giant sequoia groves, mountains, lakes and it’s rich in different species of flora, and it marked one of the first milestones in the beginnings of the National Park project.
Now, citizens and people from all over the world can appreciate Yosemite’s views and natural beauty along with the President of the United States, thanks to immersive technology and the Felix and Paul Studio team.
The tour is designed to be watch with the Oculus Gear VR, but anyone who wants to take the trip can just click on it’s Facebook account and enjoy it since the video was also made into an interactive 360 degrees video on the platform.
On Thursday, President Obama along with National Geographic made the announcement of the initiative and hours later photographer Peter Souza shared a picture of the Chief Commander using the Oculus gear to take the tour himself.
In the 360 degrees video, watchers can enjoy a canoe ride down the Merced River or watch the Presidential helicopter “Marine One” land in a sunny meadow of the park as the Obama describes the blue sky.
President Obama is also seen interacting and taking pictures with students in the Park, as a part of his initiative “Every Kid in a Park” which allows every 4th grader in the country a year of free park visits.
“We have to have the foresight and the faith in out future to do what it takes to protect these parks and protect this planet for our kids, and all generations to come,” Said Obama in the video.
The interactive Facebook video allows every user to watch every corner of the park, from the sky to the ground. The ten-minute documentary also provides fun facts about the park’s history.
National Geographic described in a press release, the great opportunity virtual reality offers to nature lovers since it’s a new frontier that allows them to expand their ways of showing the world.
“We see virtual reality as a new frontier and are thrilled to use this to celebrate the centennial anniversary,” said Rajiv Mody, Vice President of Social Media at National Geographic.
Source: Nat Geo