One of my favorite places is the sunrise side of Mt. Rainier. It felt like you could see a hundred miles north, but probably it was only 50.
VirtualParks.org was conceived as a visual documentary of special places in North America. Natural or wilderness lands provide refuge and inspiration for people as well as habitat for other species.
The pressure of population, economic growth, park budget cuts, climate change, and catastrophic events often encroaches upon our green spaces and wilderness lands. It is my hope that through experiencing the special beauty of our wild lands, the public will better understand the value of open space and wilderness and want to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.
When shooting these scenes, there was also a sense that many of these locations will never be the same again; some may improve, some may be destroyed--because geological and environmental change is inevitable. People usually think of big changes only occurring in millennial timescales, but all it takes is one natural disaster (Indian Ocean tsunami, Mt. St. Helens, earthquake on the San Andreas fault) to devastate an area for generations. Not to mention man-made disasters such as giant forest fires. These panoramas provide a unique documentary record of what specific places looked like at recorded moments in history.
The tremendous amount of effort that goes into making these immersive experiences a way of honoring a moment, a sentient awareness, and a place. Many of these scenes might require ten thousand words to describe; yet the power of this medium is that one immersive panorama can impart even more than those many words. If you think any of these virtual reality panoramas are impressive, consider that most people who view the same panorama as a four to five foot wide print find the print more striking.
One of the most gratifying results has been how people who might not otherwise be able to visit a wilderness location could enjoy them on VirtualParks.org. Thank you for your support.
This is not an official park site. Remember, this site is run by the Art of Geography, which is not part of any agencies that operate state, local or national parks.
Where are the panoramas? - there are so many that a way to filter them was needed. The homepage is the best way to see what filter options are available.