The U.S. Air Force recently recognized the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Virtual Tour with its 2010 Best Innovative Program Award in Public Affairs. The award followed requests from online visitors which prompted staff to move forward with uploading panoramic photos of all galleries, making the museum fully virtual. The tour is located at NMUSAFVirtualTour.com.
“All 92 high-definition panoramic ‘nodes’ are now online,” said Lt. Gen. (Ret) John L. Hudson, museum director. “With all the photos uploaded, visitors can now better experience the museum while at home or on the go.”
When the Virtual Tour launched in November 2010, each gallery was initially scheduled to roll-out in phases. As staff received feedback, it became evident that online visitors were impressed with the tour’s navigation, content and quality. Out of those who took the survey and have not physically visited the museum, 82% have said they would now visit.
“The responses on the Virtual Tour were more than we could have hoped. Not only have we extended our reach to a global audience, we have provided a service for people who cannot physically be here,” said Terry Aitken, senior curator for the museum.
The museum offers online visitors various ways to obtain this information, with the podcasts available via iTunes and the panoramas built not only for computers, but also for Smartphones and iPads. Each node eventually will contain clickable images to the aircraft and artifacts, which will be hyperlinked to factsheets, supplemental information and educational tools.
As the museum continues to expand on this new technology, individuals are invited to take a short survey to help provide the best virtual experience possible, officials said.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located in Dayton, Ohio. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information: NationalMuseum.af.mil