Posted by: Tony Carson | 13 June, 2007

Digital Tourism — where the hell is it?

The digital recreation of Imperial Rome is great news. Can’t wait to see it. A trip to the Eternal City would be worth it for that alone. The few remaining pieces on the Capitoline Hill simply aren’t enough to inspire mental images of its glorious past.

And this begs the question, why isn’t there more of this kind of thing available today? Why can’t we tour modern Rome digitally, on a website or some Web 2 concoction? I mean, isn’t the technology here yet? Can’t someone just cover an area of a city with digital photography, render the pictures into 3-D, splice them together and then allow us to move about the place sort of like an enhanced Google Earth trip? 

Seems to me I should be able to visit downtown Cairo while the kababs are broiling or Kyoto while the rice is steaming or Munich when I’m drinking beer. It would be an advertisers paradise. So why can’t I do it?

I can see the problems in having to re-construct the distance past. That would have to be modeled in some way, as it was with Imperial Rome. But the present? 

This is particularly needed now when it takes 3 years to get a passport. 

So why are so many sharp programmers wasting their times on those useless, shoot-em-up games when they could be digitizing destinations — allowing me to hang out in a casbah or in an oriental seaport or in a Mediterranean villa. 

I mean, come on, times a wasting. There is so little time and so many places to see.


  1. […] Alas who would fund such a project? The inevitable question. Well, Amazon could sell books, and Google… actually… I can think of so many who would want in on this project. Not just the British Museum, or the National Gallery. But the Smithsonian, and the Guggenheim, why aren’t these places online?  As expressed before on Carson’s Post, where is the virtual tourism? […]

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