Live tours online – bridging the potential of the mega-web with museum content (Demo Table 1)

Lynda Kelly, Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia, Gavin Walker, CSIRO, Australia

The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) and the National Museum of Australia (NMA), in partnership with the CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and the Australian Department of Communications have brought the “old fashioned” guided tour to life in the digital age. High speed broadband infrastructure in Australia has allowed these museums to connect to visitors in an immersive way. Using both fixed and robot-mounted panoramic video cameras, personal video cameras and an artefact database, ten or more visitors can participate in remote panoramic tours of the museums and be immersed in the environment as they would in a real tour. The system provides live, streaming panoramic video from the museum with a video-conference connection to a museum guide, educator or other staff members. The Australian National Maritime Museum has fixed cameras on board the flagship vessel HMB Endeavour, while the National Museum of Australia has two camera-equipped robots that roam the galleries.