By Ashley ReeseThis interactive site allows the user to explore the topic of China’s Supercaves by navigating through a 3-D model created by a laser scan. When the user first clicks onto the site, they see the gorgeous photo above, complete with the headline, caption and a map that highlights where exactly the user is beginning their virtual tour.
As you scroll through the tour, you move throughout the 3-D model of the cave. Instead of just giving you a series of static images, they used some form of video/graphics so that it feels like you’re actually moving through the cave yourself. As you come to a new section of the cave, a new blurb comes up explaining what you’re seeing, and you can watch your route being traced on the map in the upper righthand corner.
From what I gathered, the virtual tour includes both actual photographs and images from the model; at least, that’s how it appeared through reading the captions. The story goes alongside an entirely different part of the site entitled Empire of Rock, where more of the details of the story are given in a long-form feature article, as well as some other multimedia.
Personally, I loved being able to go through such a virtual tour. In terms of story telling, I feel this really puts the user in the place of the story perhaps even better than just a video. The user can scroll through at his/her own pace and view the details as well as read what the story is about. I felt that it was very user-friendly and not at all difficult to navigate. You seriously just had to keep scrolling, and unlike some multimedia stories I’ve come across before, I didn’t feel like this one overwhelmed the viewer.
Overall, I’d have to say I really enjoyed this site. If I had to say one negative thing, I would just say that maybe next time, see if there’s a way to incorporate audio into the piece. It would just add a little bit extra. But otherwise, I feel like this was a great use of storytelling through multimedia.