What Are Some Features of the Smithsonian Virtual Tours?


Quick Answer

Gallery photos with 360-degree panoramas and arrows presenting the next view, video or audio artifact descriptions and an archive of past exhibits are some features of the Smithsonian Institution's virtual tours. Titled "The Virtual Smithsonian," the museum tours are available on computers or mobile devices, as of 2015.

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Full Answer

The Smithsonian offers online tours of its National Museum of Natural History. The tour starts in the Rotunda, centered on its life-sized African elephant. Progression through the tour occurs by selecting another gallery, clicking on a photo thumbnail or using the arrows embedded in the floor. On mobile devices or touch-screen enabled computers, dragging moves into other galleries. The Mammal, Ancient Seas and Ice Age, and Early Life and Ancient Plants halls are ground floor galleries directly accessible from the Rotunda.

The Mammal Hall includes dioramas of animals arranged by location and habitat. The entry to the African area features a Cape Buffalo under attack by lions. The Savanna Water Hole contains zebras, a giraffe and a hippopotamus in natural poses. The exhibit uses vertical space, showing leopards with their prey in the treetops and undulates on rocky promontories.

Additional exhibits include Egyptian Mummies, Butterfly, Bones, Insect Zoo and the Geology, Gems and Minerals Hall. A time-lapse viewing of the National Fossil Hall shows the status of its deconstruction by day from the start of its renovation.

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