Over the past several years, NCC has been offering historical societies and local businesses the chance to showcase their spaces with the creation of virtual tours using a Matterport camera and service. Dakota County Historical Society https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=2LXhaNxCuCr, Ramsey County Historical Society https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=G8KZb7XHdYr and the Maplewood Area Historical Society https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=iHm693wgjwY have each made large commitments to showcasing their museums and houses. Local businesses such as Waldmann Brewery and Wurstery https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=HLXdHdKiFgn have made models to give patrons a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their storefronts.
Now that covid has become part of our “new normal” more and more places, large and small, have begun to realize its quite alright to show off what you do from afar – and the information you can glean from how many people visit your page and model month to month can help providers see the ebb and flow of school-age interest, wedding planners, vacationers, as well as the simply curious. Now, more than ever, others are jumping to this creative space – the Minnesota Historical Society recently launched virtual tours for Fort Snelling and the Alexander Ramsey House https://hubs.la/Q01zRQS30.
After several years of doing this, I have come to appreciate the aesthetics and challenges of a good virtual tour. Although the technology is pretty simple to understand and use, it does take some understanding of space, light, time of day, and camera placement – to make a model stand out. One of the more interesting challenges is working in gallery spaces. The AAW Gallery of Wood Art, located in the Landmark Center, is a terrific example of this. The pieces in the space are typically three dimensional (verses paintings for example) and the use of strong lighting and varying object heights and sizes – plus being in a space with large, interior facing windows, can be a challenge for any model maker. However, the Gallery and its curator Tib Shaw, have seen the value in documenting individual shows, highlighting their amazing objects, and getting the word out. They have found new ways to increase the quality to their models by linking high-quality photographs and artist text directly into the tours https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=ze1cyg6SRJV.
Here are a few shots from our most recent work in the space. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy making the models. Thank you to Tib Shaw and the AAW Gallery of Wood Art for letting me make this blog post for NCC.