by Karen Rubin
3-D is coming to the way travelers can research their next destination, before you get there.
A new travel website, 3rd Planet (www.3rdplanet.com), will not only provide information about the destination, but will give you a 3-D look around the place you want to go. The 3-D technology will give provide a realistic look at the most popular sites in a country with built-to-scale reconstructions of actual places within famous destinations.
The site “maximizes their time at the destination, as they know which historically significant attractions to focus on, where the sites are located relative to one another, and where to explore next,” said Singaporean entrepreneur Terence Mak, Chief Executive of 3rd Planet and the creative mind behind the website. “It will give travelers a chance to preview a city and make their plans on what they will do and where they will go once they get there.
“We live in a 3-D world,” he said.
Mak said this will be the first site in the world to make use of interactive 3-D technology to present tourism information. The company’s future plans include incorporating flight routes and real weather patterns into a virtual globe along with interior views of buildings. “It’s a whole new era,” he said.
3rd Planet is expected to launch later this year and will feature Nepal as its first destination, with 6 or 7 other countries in the works.
The company works with national tourism organizations (NTO) to build 3-D replicas of their destination to present on the 3rd Planet web site. 3rd Planet is also working with tourism boards, hotels, shopping malls, airlines, and other attractions to make 3-D reconstructions.
What sets this marketing platform apart from others is its commitment to the recreation of reality and an immersive 3-D environment. All images, environments, content, and cityscapes are designed to be as life-like and accurate as possible to the real world, and web site information and location scenes in 3-D can be embedded in the existing web portals of the tourism boards to help enhance the impact of the special location.
“Destination marketing has always been a challenge for most locations, and it is about time we use a new platform to educate and show global consumers how the location really looks like and what they can expect to do there,” Mak said. “Air travel and tourism is booming with the availability of budget airlines, and consumers are beginning to be more world conscious. What is missing is a 3D technology to showcase that destination to a global audience.”
The site is free to the users; partners who wish to have their location “virtualized” on the site are charged a fee depending on the structure’s complexity and the amount of complementary content to be included.
To access the online web portal, you would download a free 5MB plug when you first install the software. The software is completely web based and can run both on PCs and Mac and is supported by most major browsers.
“Using our platform, users can navigate through an overview scene to get a big picture of where is what relative to a location and decide on how to best use the time they have to explore the location. We also have a explorer capability which will allow the user to explore through some parts of the location in high detail,” he said.
You can get a preview of the new technology at www.youtube.com.
Wednesday, 06 July, 2011
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