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Digital Exhibit on JSU’s Little River Canyon Center Goes Worldwide on Google Culture Institute

09/14/2016

A new online experience by Google, the Little River Canyon National Preserve, the Jacksonville State University Canyon Center and some of the most loved natural history institutions in the world, allows people to browse through the most spectacular collection of natural history available in one place.

The Canyon Center, JSU Little River Canyon National Preserve, and the Google Cultural Institute are inviting people to an interactive, dynamic and immersive discovery experience of the diversity and fragility of nature in an unprecedented way. 

Launched on September 13, this new online exhibition - a partnership between Google and some of the world’s most emblematic natural history institutions - will enable web users to discover Natural History treasures such as the plants of Little River Canyon.

The new collection uses state of the art technology to give a new virtual life to extinct animals and tell fascinating stories about our planet’s evolution over billions of years. Viewers come face-to-face with Jurassic giants in 360-degree videos, giving a better sense of how these animals lived, and what it might have felt like to be in their presence. 

Panoramic Street View imagery gives people a backstage pass to wander virtually around iconic venues such as London’s Natural History Museum, the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin or the American Museum of Natural History in New York.  They will be also able to browse over a hundred fascinating stories related to dinosaurs and the world's most known fossils, but also learn about plants, insects, minerals here.

The Canyon Center exhibit kiosk shows nearly 300 of Little River Canyon’s 1,069 species of plants.  Some of the park’s rare, threatened and endangered species are included, as well as the common and beautiful.  This exhibit is expandable and can sort by month or color.  It is a one of a kind exhibit and is connected online to the Google Exhibit. 

Pete Conroy, director of the Jacksonville State University Environmental Policy and Information Center stated, “From the moment in Tuskegee, when I met the team from Google’s Cultural Institute, I knew we’d have plenty of spectacular things to share but, it wasn’t until a few days ago that I caught on to the enormity of this effort. It’s an honor to have partnered with Google to present Jacksonville State University and Little River Canyon in such a prestigious, world-class forum.”

Park Superintendent Steve Black said, "I am excited to share with the world, the botany of Little River Canyon National Preserve.”  

The Google Cultural Institute works together with over 1000 organizations from over 70 countries to put the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of Internet users and are building tools that allow the cultural sector to share more of its diverse heritage online. This project exhibits over 200,000 artworks and a total of 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history. 

For this exhibition, natural history institutions from 15 countries created over a hundred interactive stories, sharing a total of 300,000 photos, videos and other documents online in collaboration with Google. The latest innovations in tech help bring the magic of these legendary venues to life.

Google Expeditions enable teachers to bring students on virtual trips to places like museums, underwater, and outer space. Expeditions are collections of virtual reality 360° panoramas and 3D images — annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools.

The new online exhibition is now open and free to everyone, all online, and through the new Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android. You can also watch all the 360-degree videos on YouTube

For more information, call the Canyon Center at (256)-845-3548. You can follow JSU's Little River Canyon Center on Facebook. Share photos of Little River Canyon on social media with #FindYourPark.
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