Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Seeing the Big Picture with the Big Map

From the desk of Sean Rodman, Strategic Partnerships Manager at the Royal BC Museum

If you've visited us recently, you must have seen the Big Map in our lobby. Stretching almost 8 metres from floor to ceiling, it's an amazing snapshot of British Columbia.

Where did it come from? Back in 2005, the Big Map was unveiled as the world’s first three-dimensional map of British Columbia based solely on satellite imagery. It is exceptional in detail and dramatic in size. The map provides a never-before-seen perspective on our home. Coupled with a dramatic overlay of movies and digital animation, the map demonstrates an exciting new way to tell the stories of British Columbia and its people.
The Big Map under construction in 2005

Since its opening several films have been produced to play on the big map including First Peoples, Climate Change, and Water. In addition to the movies, the digital animations that play on the map are often a huge draw for visitors. These animations illustrate the size of our province and relative population through direct comparison to other countries. I was surprised to see Ireland or Taiwan tuck neatly into the outline of Vancouver Island: somehow I always think of us as tiny in comparison to these international heavyweights!

Even if you can't visit in person, we can now give you a sample of the Big Map online. Recently we transported the digital animations to the internet. Click here to enjoy them!

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