To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Google has created a 360-degee experience that lets viewers take a virtual peek into some of the most breathtaking sites that can be found throughout the country’s parks.
The experience lets visitors swim through a coral reef in Florida’s Dry Tortugas, kayak through icebergs at Alaska’s Kenai Fjords and visit the volcanic cliffs in Hawaii. Each virtual tour includes a local ranger who walks viewers through what they’re seeing while providing additional context.
Called ‘The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks' and created in partnership with Stinkdigital, the 360-tours are available online and through the Google Arts & Culture app. Google also created a customized “doodle” to celebrate the National Park Service’s birthday.
While August 25 marks the official date of the National Park Service’s centennial, the organization has been celebrating the milestone throughout the past year to drum up excitement around the parks in an effort to encourage more people to visit some of the country’s most iconic landmarks.
In partnership with Grey New York, the National Park Service launched its ‘Find Your Park’ campaign in March of last year to inspire people “from all backgrounds to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs.” The agency also created a ‘Find Your Park Virtual View Tour’ installation last year, which was launched in New York City and traveled to other cities including LA and DC.
Earlier this year, the National Park Service, American Express and nonprofit Games for Change rolled out a mobile game called ‘Save the Park,’ which lets users play park-related games and encourages them to volunteer at their real-life parks.