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virtual

Virtual Home Tours Have Taken Over The Real Estate Industry

In the real estate industry, virtual tours of prospective properties have made it easy for agents and their clients to view and discuss future transactions. Beyond the obvious health and safety benefits of this technology, virtual tours have made it easy for clients located in different states or parts of the country/world to continue their real estate dreams from the comfort of their own home.

Virtual Travel

Breathtaking Buildings Around The World Now Offering Virtual Tours 

While the Covid-19 pandemic is coming to a hopeful end with the rollout of multiple vaccines throughout the world, we must remain patient and vigilant with the current health and safety procedures until a greater herd immunity is met. While we wait, many of the world’s most famous places are offering virtual tours for the traveler’s who have been patiently waiting to get out of their house for the past year. 

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Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Barquq, Cairo: Experience Egypt From Home” is a new program made for the traveler who wants to visit the historic architecture that Egypt has to offer from the comfort of their own home. The Mosque was made in the 14th century and is full of old school African architecture such as marble mosaics, bronze doors, and carved minarets, all perfectly preserved. 

Anne of Cleves House, East Sussex: The Sussex Archaeological Society has been offering a multitude of historical virtual tours within the past year, and their most recent addition is the former mansion of Henry VIII. The tour itself starts in the lush garden and glides easily into the magnificent kitchen and open floor plan of this classic medieval house. 

Palace of Versailles, Paris: ‘Hey guys, what’s up?’ says narrator Jean Philippe N’Djoli, inviting us into Versailles. A short, playful video introduces the palace’s immersive 2019 Google virtual reality app, which offers hi-tech tours of the opera house, king’s bedroom and more,” according to the website. This palace is famous for obvious reasons, and the beautiful interior designs will stun any onlooker, even through a computer screen.

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City Palace, Jaipur, India: In 2019, Jaipur’s youthful maharaja, polo player Padmanabh Singh, put a room in his palace on to Airbnb (priced about $6,000 a night, the proceeds going to charity). The suite and its private pool don’t feature in this polished palatial tour, but the virtually accessible parts of the palace are a huge showcase for Jaipur’s sunset-coloured sandstone and graceful Mughal architecture,” according to the Guardian. The palace was initially built in the 1720’s and maintains a ton of the original features from its creation. 

Golestan Palace, Iran: 360cities.net has been offering tours of some of the world’s most historic cities and sites for individuals at home. Now, they’ve added one of the most iconic palace’s from the Qajar Dynasty, which famously ruled the Persian empire from 1785-1925, roughly. According to experts in the area “the walled Golestan complex is one of Tehran’s oldest palaces (the mirrored decor is largely 19th century) and the Unesco World Heritage listing describes it as an inspirational “example of an east-west synthesis” in art and architecture.”

Taliesin, Wisconsin, US: Frank Lloyd Wright’s 242-hectare estate is one of the most famous architectural accomplishments in the country. Wright himself wrote in 1932 that “No other landscape cradles you as do these south-western Wisconsin hills.” The tour will take virtual visitors through the living room first and directly into the Hillside Assembly Hall. The tour is currently available on tourdeforce360.com.

Bermuda Dock

Virtual Cultural Attractions To Occupy Your Time In Quarantine

As social distancing measures and quarantine policies continue to restrict any sort of travel from occurring around the world, many are growing restless with how to spend this indefinite amount of time at home. Lucky for us, we live in a virtual age where practically everything can be seen/done online.

Many tourist destinations throughout the world have opened their digital doors to the public, offering a multitude of virtual tour/interactive online experiences so that many of us can still embark on fun travel journeys around the world, all from the comfort of our living room. Here are a few examples of some of the hundreds of virtual experience options you and your loved ones can go on while in quarantine:

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Natural Habitat Adventures and the World Wildlife Fund have collaborated on a project they’re calling “Your Daily Dose of Nature.” The companies enlisted the help of over 150 guides from all over the world to share reports from their fieldwork, give updates on conservation efforts, show off fascinating wildlife and natural landscapes, while also offering courses in things like nature photography. The “daily doses” are updated everyday at 1 p.m. mountain time, meaning you’ll have something new and educational to look forward to everyday.

Rowe Bird Sanctuary in Nebraska has provided a virtual crane cam on their website to give the public access to the second largest animal migration in the world. The crane cam will follow the Sandhill Cranes on their journey upriver. According to the website, most of the cranes leave the river during the day to go feed, so the best time to see them will likely be sunrise and sunset; but the stream is 24/7.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore is live-streaming some of their most popular attractions as well. These streams include shots from their Blacktip Reef, named for the blacktip shark population, Jellies Invasion exhibit, and Pacific Coral Reef exhibit, all which also have an overall goal of spreading the word about aquatic conservation. 

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Beyond just animal exhibits, there are a ton of virtual sightseeing options available for free to the public. For example, Albuquerque is offering a 360-degree tour of the entire city. Starting from the top of the Sandia Peak Tramway, online visitors can travel through some of Albuquerque’s most picturesque views, while also stopping at the local restaurants to peek in the windows and get a glimpse at local life. 

Bermuda’s historic dockyard is also live-streaming a 24/7 HD quality video of what waterfront life is like. While a dockyard may not sound like the most exciting experience, it’s in Bermuda, so it’s basically like taking a virtual vacation.

The Alley Theater in Houston is also offering digital performances and streams for their past performances. Right now George Orwell’s 1984 is the only option to watch, however, the Alley isn’t the only cultural institution offering a virtual experience for past patrons. 

In fact, Google’s Arts and Culture department has recently teamed up with hundreds of museums and historical venues to create an endless amount of virtual tours, activities, and educational experiences for those to endure while stuck at home during quarantine.  

Regardless of where you go, what you do, and what you see, it’s clear that while we may not be able to physically be in these places, we have access to the next best thing. It’s important to remember that one day, we will be able to actually hop on a plane and go to these places, but for now, we’ll have to get used to going to Europe from our computers.

Isreal Landscape

How To Take A Virtual Tour Of Israel While Quarantined

As the world continues to endure quarantining themselves while we wait for the Covid-19 curve to flatten, there’s a multitude of online virtual tours/attractions/shows that cultural institutions from all over have created to entertain us while we wait. Israel as a whole has decided that they want to give travelers everywhere a special gift and has created dozens of digital offerings that allows anyone to explore almost the entire country from the comfort of their own home.

A company called Sygic Travel Virtual Reality has created a 360-degree virtual tour of Jerusalem’s Old City. In a mission statement, a spokesperson for the group stated: “Holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, Jerusalem is one of the world’s foremost pilgrimage destinations. You may feel moved, energized, or swept into the maelstrom of contemporary issues — but the city will not leave you unaffected.” You can participate in the tour via the Sygic Travel VR website.

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The Israel Museum is a cultural hub for the nation. The museum is offering a virtual tour experience of its many historical exhibits, as well as a ton of virtual activities for children if you’re kids are home from school and often running out of things to do everyday. The activities themselves are both online, as well as printable, and include things like coloring sheets of famous exhibits. 

Speaking of museums, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is one of Israel’s most popular destinations for tourists and citizens alike. The museum itself is also offering virtual tours of its most famous exhibits, as well as pre-recorded video footage from older exhibits that are no longer on display. 

Beyond just virtual museum tours and online activity books that one could do with their child, Israel really wanted to offer up a true digital experience of what it would be like to travel to the nation if we had the ability to do so right now. So, the country has created a whole slew of 360-degree videos that are meant to “cater to a variety of interests,” for different types of tourists. 

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Israel knows that certain tourists visit certain places for a whole variety of reasons, so they wanted to offer up digital experiences for as many of those reasons as possible. The virtual tours that are uploaded to the official YouTube page for Israel includes some of Tel Aviv’s most famous beaches, as well as a hot air balloon ride overlooking the entire city. Additionally, there are also tours of the famous Dead Sea, the Tower of David in Jerusalem, Independence hall, and much more. 

Our mission is to give you a tour of Israel using our ultra high definition panoramas of Israeli hotels, cities, attractions, holy places, and to help you understand Israel and plan your vacation, for the future. View everything from Haifa in the north to Eilat in the south,” according to 3D Israel, the company responsible for a lot of the content involved in this project. 

Beyond just 3D Israel, other third-party users on YouTube have offered up their own personal footage from past trips to Israel to create even more virtual adventures for the tortured traveler stuck in quarantine. Some of these online experiences include a trip through the Western Wall tunnels, the Via Dolorosa, the Sea of Galilee, and even Tel Aviv Pride.

While it may be awhile before you’re actually able to get on a plane and explore the real beauty of Israel, the nation wants to keep their culture alive, so they offered these amazing virtual experiences to keep us all a little more sane as we make it through the next few months. 

Olympics

Japan Offering Virtual Tours In Light Of The 2020 Olympic Games Being Postponed

The coronavirus pandemic has obviously put a lot of major annual events on hold. Coachella, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and now, most recently, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed until 2021. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the world’s biggest sporting competition that brings millions of individuals from all over the world together for two months was postponed due to health and safety concerns regarding the very contagious nature of COVID-19, however, many fans are still left extremely disappointed. 

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games were originally scheduled to begin on July 24th, but they will now be postponed 12 months as a part of a greater effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Before the final verdict was even announced this week, countries began pulling out of the Games for the same health and safety concerns, including Germany, Canada, and Australia. 

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“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the World Health Organization today, the International Olympic Committee president and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community. [We] wish for the world to see Tokyo as a beacon of hope and will leave the Olympic flame in the city until the Games commence next year,” Japan’s Prime Minister and IOC president said in a joint statement from the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

The Japan National Tourism Organization is also passionate about maintaining the image of Tokyo being seen as a “beacon of hope,” so they’re offering something special for all disappointed spectators who now have to wait another year before they’re able to explore the wonders of Japan. The organization created a 360-degree virtual tour for the entire country. 

The tour itself, according to the website, will include some of Japan’s most notable attractions, such as the Tokyo Tower, Kyoto’s Sagano Bamboo Forest, Nara Park, and so much more! One of the experiences offered takes the form of a documentary style film titled Japan: Where Tradition Meets the Future, and can be viewed on YouTube from any of your personal devices. If you have Virtual Reality goggles you’ll be able to watch the film as if you’re in every part of Japan that’s being explored. 

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The film isn’t the only immersive Japan experience being offered; if you’re taking a more laid back approach to your time in quarantine, there’s a 24-hour live-stream of Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, which is one of the most famous metropolitan crosswalks in Asia because of how mesmerizing it can be to watch, and if you don’t believe me, just see for yourself.

Other live-stream services that Japan’s National Tourism Organization provides includes a live-stream of the Nihondaira Zoo, which is perfect for anyone in need of some wholesome wildlife content. Along those same lines the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park also set up a webcam for onlookers worldwide. 

Cat cafes have become synonymous with Japanese culture, specifically in Tokyo where they initially became so popular. Now, customers can make a cup of their favorite hot beverage at home and tune into the live-stream of Neko Café, one of Tokyo’s most famous cat cafes, where you’ll be able to relax with some furry friends all through your computer screen. 

Finally, one of the hottest tourist attractions in Japan would have to be viewing the blossoming of their iconic cherry blossom trees. Luckily, there are now several 360-degree virtual reality videos featuring the pink flowers in full bloom in some of Japan’s most beautiful parks such as Ueno Park in Tokyo, Miharu Falls in Fukushima, and Hirosaki Park.

So while we may have to wait another year to watch the world’s most powerful athletes come together to compete for gold, we can still take a virtual trip from the comfort of our own home and experience a whole new culture.

Broadway Sign

During Times Of Quarantine, Streaming Services Bring Broadway To You

COVID-19 has basically guaranteed that a lot of us won’t be leaving our homes anytime soon. Many of us are scrambling to figure out how to occupy our days while we keep ourselves healthy and happy. Binge-watching some of our favorite “streamable” shows is a given, but what if you had the ability to travel to your favorite museums, operas, or Broadway shows, all without leaving your couch. Thanks to certain online servers, art and culture lovers everywhere can now make their way to their favorite Broadway plays and operas that are now closed off to the public. 

BroadwayHD is a streaming service that was launched back in 2015. The service does exactly what you’d expect and brings actual recordings of live Broadway performances into your home. The company statement exclaims that “BroadwayHD was created with the goal of making high-quality theater accessible to everyone globally.” 

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The platform itself offers users a seven-day free trial, after that users will have to pay $9 a month to keep the service, fairly typical for any streaming service. Subscribers will have access to shows that are no longer on Broadway such as Cats, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. Many of the recordings were also made exclusively for the platform, such as original performances of Kinky Boots.

BroadwayHD is also known for its “playlists” of plays, most recently they made one to honor Women’s History Month which included plays exclusively made by female theater-makers and playwrights, as well as feminist performances, including all female renditions of popular Shakespeare plays, A Night with Janis Joplin, and Driving Ms. Daisy

In addition, “BroadwayHD is celebrating theater legend Stephen Sondheim for his 90th birthday and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 72nd with a special tribute playlist including some of their most beloved productions. The playlist includes Gypsy, Putting It Together, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,  Cats, Phantom Of The Opera, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and more.”

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Besides streaming services for Broadway plays and virtual tour services for the world’s most popular museums, the Metropolitan Opera decided to join in on offering digital cultural entertainment to the public during this time of isolation. This past week, the Metropolitan Opera announced that it would be streaming performances of some of its most famous shows to the public starting this week. The best part? They’re offering it for free.  

“The Metropolitan Opera announced that it would stream encore presentations from the award-winning Live in HD series of cinema transmissions on the company website for the duration of the closure. We’d like to provide some grand opera solace to opera lovers in these extraordinarily difficult times. Every night, we’ll be offering a different complete operatic gem from our collection of HD presentations from the past 14 years,” Met General Manager Peter Gelb shared in a statement.

Instead of presenting each opera as an option to watch at any time like a regular streaming service, the Met will be instead hosting “Nightly Met Opera Streams” in which each performance is scheduled at the same time every night. Beginning on Monday March 16th, the Met posts a different opera performance to its homepage at 7:30 p.m. where it will remain available until the next day when the next performance is uploaded. For a full list of performances, simply go to the Met Opera’s homepage. So while you may not be able to go out and tour the MoMA, go see Wicked, or relive the magic of Carmen, the digital world has made it possible to still maintain some cultural habits in times of quarantine.

Art Museum

Virtual Museum Tours Offer A Taste Of Culture In A Time Of Quarantine

Coronavirus has caused millions worldwide to quarantine themselves, and thousands of different industries to adjust to the way they’re running their businesses in order to prevent the further spread of this novel virus. One of the most recent and significant changes the world has seen is the closing of hundreds of cultural attractions such as all Broadway productions, Disneyland, and multiple museums. While you’re on your leave from work and waiting for the world to figure out how to further stop this virus, there’s a multitude of things you can do to entertain yourself from home. 

If you’re one of the millions of individuals who had plans to visit any of these cultural landmarks within the coming months and are now disappointed that you had to postpone, have no fear, as many museums worldwide have begun, or are continuing to, offer free virtual tours through their establishments via their website for your viewing pleasure until you can safely visit them again. Here’s a list of just a few options of places you can “travel” to through your computer screen:

The British Museum in London is located in the heart of the city and holds some of the most famous mummy remains in Europe. Their virtual tour allows users online to travel through the archives and explore the historical contexts behind some of the more predominantly known pieces. 

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The Guggenheim Museum in New York is known for its iconic spiral staircase architecture and multitude of art pieces from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras. Google’s Street View lets visitors walk the staircase online and stand in front of any piece from any era that they please, all from their couch. 

Google in general is the main reason all of these virtual tours are possible. Their Arts and Culture department recently partnered with over 500 museums and galleries worldwide to deliver virtual tours that make users feel like their standing in the museums themselves. This effort was already in motion before the corona pandemic, however, now more than ever Google is emphasizing their newest feature that delivers just a taste of the culture all of these establishments have to offer. 

The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. has two major online exhibits that show off two very specific art periods. The first is an exhibit exploring how American fashion evolved between the years of 1740 and 1895. It’s focus is on the textiles used and how gendered style developed from the colonial to Revolutionary eras of history. The second focuses on a series of Baroque paintings from famous Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. 

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The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea gives New York City’s MoMA a true run for its money. While the museum itself obviously emphasizes more modern works to come from Korean artists, the virtual tour seamlessly incorporates historical contexts to past art influences for the more modern exhibits. 

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has quickly become one of the most popular museums on the planet. The virtual tour explores not only the many works done by Van Gogh, but also takes users through the tragedy and genius that was Van Gogh’s inner workings. The museum itself holds the largest collection of work done by the artist, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings/sketches, and over 750 personal letters. 

These examples only scratch the surface of other tours and exhibits Google has given the public access too. The ability to travel across the world to one of the most famous museums all with the click of a button is truly the definition of living in the future. So explore some of the 500+ museum and gallery options today, and go where you’ve never gone before.