Featured picture of post "Explore Royal Ontario Museum’s New Virtual Tour"

Explore Royal Ontario Museum’s New Virtual Tour

Kyla Ball

Behind the scenes at the museum

Established in 1914 in Toronto, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) exhibits global art, culture, and natural history. It’s one of North America’s leading cultural institutions, and Canada’s largest, most comprehensive museum. It is home to an unparalleled collection of 13 million pieces spanning art, cultural artifacts, and natural history treasures across its 40 galleries and exhibition spaces. ROM is also Canada’s foremost institute for field research.

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In 2021 we showcased the fantastic Great Whales Virtual Exhibition in the case study ROM’s Virtual Tours Solve Access Issues. In the wake of this project, and incorporating feedback from users of that virtual tour, ROM’s Coordinator of Digital Content and Experiences Sarah Elliott and her colleagues have created another exemplary virtual museum tour with ThingLink: Sustainable Style. You can explore the entire virtual tour below. Click on the fullscreen icon bottom far right to view it fullscreen!

A truly virtual museum tour

The Sustainable Style virtual tour fulfils three main purposes. Firstly, it was made to create a virtual climate change “gallery” of objects throughout the museum. Simultaneously it preserves and archives in digital format a temporary climate change art installation in the museum – Noelle Hamlyn:Lifers. Thirdly, it also serves as the knowledge base for a number of educational activities that the museum are developing.

Sustainable Style can therefore be considered a truly “virtual exhibition” as it groups together otherwise distinct displays, and both permanent and temporary exhibits.

Addresses diverse learning needs

Sarah and her colleagues have designed the tour format and navigation based on the previous virtual tour user feedback, in particular to address more comprehensively the diverse learning needs of the museum’s audiences. The tour now includes more ways to navigate around the featured areas depending on your preference. They also updated and expanded their “how to use” video which was a very popular feature of their Great Whales tour. This is shown below and is a must-watch for all virtual tour creators!

“We are really confident that this tour addresses more of the diverse learning needs of our audience.”

Sarah Elliott, Coordinator of Digital Content and Experiences, ROM

Thanks to Royal Ontario Museum for allowing us to share this fantastic case study. 

How you can blend physical and digital spaces in a virtual tour or exhibition

Technology has paved the way for blends of digital and traditional museum experiences, in almost limitless variations. Forefront of these innovations is the emergence of the virtual museum concept. As this example from ROM shows, the concept isn’t just an online exhibit that mimics the physical spaces; it’s an enhanced, mixed reality user experience that bridges geographical and physical gaps. And ThingLink is one of the easiest-to-use tools that is transforming the way that museum educators and content producers create and share virtual museum tours.

You can fully customize ThingLink content and format to suit the unique requirements of each virtual museum tour. You can include multimedia elements such as videos, 3D models, forms, quizzes, embeds, links and audio in your tags. Why not provide visitors with videos of artists discussing their creations or 3D models that allow a 360-degree view of sculptures? The blending of various media forms enriches the online museum experience, making it more immersive than ever.

The museum with no walls: share anywhere!

ThingLink content can be embedded seamlessly into web pages using HTML – just click “share” and the link is instantly generated for you. This ensures that museum exhibitions can be easily integrated into any website, blog post, or even shared on social media platforms. That way your content can reach wider audiences faster and more efficiently. You can also share in virtual reality mode easily for sharing to VR headsets.

Enhancing accessibility for all

Virtual gallery and museum tours, by their nature, already bridge some of the accessibility gaps of a physical museum. ThingLink’s functionality is designed with inclusivity in mind, with Microsoft Immersive Reader built in to every text and media tag, and a web view accessibility link available for every ThingLink scene you create.

Start creating today

ThingLink is the easiest virtual tour creator available and can be learnt in minutes. No coding or design experience required. Get started today with a free trial account.

Explore more examples of Virtual Museum Tours and Experiences in ThingLink

  • Vermont Art Online showcases artworks from the entire state in their virtual exhibition design

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