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Tripureshwor Web 360° Tour

Conceptual design for the digital preservation of one of Nepal's cultural treasures.

A screenshot of a 3D virtual tour of the temple.

Tripureshwor Shiva Mahadev is Kathmandu's largest Hindu temple. Built in the 19th century, it was damaged during the earthquake that devastated Nepal in 2015.

As part of a restoration project, my team proposed a digital preservation effort in order to digitally preserve the temple using laser scanning, and to make these scans available to the whole world via a web 360° tour. My task was to come up with a conceptual vision for this virtual tour.

A walkthrough of the vision for the virtual tour using the prototype I created.

Balancing freedom and structure

We were blown away by Google's Bagan experience. It perfectly balanced free roaming and a guided linear progression experience. You're given room to explore the site, but you're also part of a tour, which has an element of progression — a story is told and you get to progress and unfold that story. You feel free to explore without feeling lost.

A gallery mode is used to add variety to the exploration experience.

Multimedia

The tour utilises 3D laser scans to create a virtual 3D world which the user can explore in their web browser. This is the foundation of the exploration experience, but on its own it can get mundane pretty fast. To pack more interest, and structure to the storytelling, we added a photo gallery, video, audio, and aerial 360° images to enrich the exploration.

Aerial photograph of the temple, taken with a drone.
An aerial 360° image mode taken with a drone. Here the user can look around in 360° degrees.
A still shot showing a man laying tiles on a roof.
A video showing the restoration of the temple roof.

Continuing the tour

These multimedia scenes are accessible by clicking on the bubbles that appear in the 3D world. And opening them is optional. One can progress through the tour without looking through them all, or only diving further into something that peeks the user's interest.

Aerial photograph of the temple, taken with a drone.
An aerial 360° image mode taken with a drone. Here the user can look around in 360° degrees.

The conceptual work here took a day to put together, and then another day of feedback, and iteration. It was then used to pitch the idea to the relevant bodies in charge of the restoration effort. You can take the prototype for a test drive. I recommend going into full screen mode on your browser if you give it a try.

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