SKOCH Award Nominee
Category: state – State Department
Sub-Category: substate – State Department
Project: Virtual Tour of Odisha State Tribal Museum
Start Date: 2020-08-02
Organisation: Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes Research & Training Institute (SCSTRTI), Odisha
Respondent: Prof Akhila Bihari Ota, Advisor cum Director & Special Secretary
Virtual Tour of Odisha State Tribal Museum – Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes Research & Training Institute (SCSTRTI), Odisha
Odisha State Tribal Museum was closed to visitors after the lockdown was imposed. All live demonstrations and festivals have been postponed indefinitely. The epidemic had an adverse influence on the tribal museum, which serves as a cultural center for visitors from India and outside through exhibits, research initiatives, trainings, and seminars. The lockdown during the Pandemic resulted in the entire closure of the Tribal Museum, affecting tourists, researchers, school students, enthusiasts, and other stakeholders from around the world.
The Odisha Tribal Museum received more than 50,000 visitors every year on average, with a total of 1,00,000 visitors in 2019. The Tribal Museum was also shuttered for more than a year in 2020 owing to complete lockdown and travel restrictions. During this time, the main goal was to overcome this setback and make the Tribal Museum accessible to tourists from all across the country and beyond.
As the saying goes, ‘necessity is the mother of inventions,’ so purposeful attempts were made to bring the Tribal Museum to the people if people are unable to visit physically to experience the Museum’s learnings. This resulted in the creation and launch of the Tribal Museum’s Virtual Tour, a first-of-its-kind technological innovation that allows visitors from all over the world to gain anthropological insights and a glimpse into the art, artefacts, tools, and customs of Odisha’s diverse indigenous communities. Visitors can use their desktop or mobile device to conduct self-guided, room-by-room tours of chosen exhibits and places within the museum using the virtual tour. It takes guests on a 360-degree tour of all the galleries, where they may see specimens and read short descriptions of several unique exhibitions, shrine crafts, and cottages.
Visitors can use their desktop or mobile device to conduct self-guided, room-by-room tours of chosen exhibits and places within the museum using the virtual tour. It takes guests on a 360-degree tour of all the galleries, where they may see specimens and read short descriptions of several unique exhibitions, shrine crafts, and cottages. These exhibits’ digital experiences appear to deliver an immersive view of the tribal museum and culture.
The virtual tour not only breached the barrier of Covid 19 regulations, but it also allowed for continuous access to a global audience. The restriction on the number of individuals who can visit the tribal museum owing to Covid regulations is no longer a barrier, as the digital experience allows people all over the world to access and benefit from the learning experience. Over the course of a year since the Virtual Tour’s inception, over 100,000 visitors have accessed the digital platforms and benefited from the virtual tour.
Developing Digital Content for the Museum’s Virtual Tour was among the most difficult issues encountered while designing the Tribal Museum’s Virtual Tour. It took a while to convert real-world settings such as museums, galleries, tribal houses, and so on into digital 3D models. Sensitization and public awareness of the Virtual Tour, as well as access to the tribal museum via a digital platform, were also key issues.
The Virtual Tour of the Tribal Museum, a first-of-its-kind technological innovation, was designed and launched as part of the solutions. Documentary films and virtual tour videos were created, as well as the transformation of real-life spaces such as museums, galleries, and tribal huts into immersive digital 3D models. The films and tour videos were also posted on social media sites (Facebook/Twitter, etc.) on a weekly basis.
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute (SCSTRTI) created the virtual tour as part of the State Government’s 5T programme and the Central Government’s Digital India vision. Since its premiere on August 2, 2020, videos have been posted on social media platforms and news articles have been published in print and electronic media to raise awareness of the virtual tour. Every Sunday, the virtual tour is available on the ST/SC Development Department’s (@stscdev) and SCSTRTI’s (@scstrti) social media pages (Facebook and Twitter).
During the Pandemic and beyond, every museum can replicate this approach.
For more information, please contact:
Prof Akhila Bihari Ota, Advisor cum Director & Special Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
(The content on the page is provided by the Exhibitor)