VR may yet be a savior

You might have read our past posts on Virtual Reality (here and here). But this article gives hope that VR may yet be a true saviour for what seemed likely to be lost heritage and treasures of human civilization.

Recently, we read an article on NatGeo featuring how many UNESCO heritage sites are at risk – from a variety of factors. And while we agree that the overburden on the sites from too high a volume of visitor traffic is one factor, what is also not frequently discussed is how some of these sites are in danger of totally disappearing.

Take Syria for example in the article link we cited.

As recent as earlier this year the conflict waged around the city of Palmrya brought not only suffering to people living around the city, but also upon the city itself. Much of the ancient city ruins (yep they already were) were further damaged, intentionally it seems reducing quite some of it literally into rubble. As if being ruins were not bad enough… And then there are sites where there had been so much stress from having too many visitors that damage is all but apparent. Rialto bridge….for example.

So here’s the thought.

Would it be better for the heritage sites to be preserved barred from human visitorship? And that the sites would be documented in such a way that one can purchase a virtual tour of the site, even remotely in the comfort of your own living room. That way, the site continues to receive funding from virtual visitors to maintain the site. Folks too may experience the joys of “being at” the sites without the travails of air travel (read here).

Would you become a virtual tourist? Do you think Virtual reality travel will be the savior when it comes to preserving memories of human civilization and heritage?

Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

10 thoughts on “VR may yet be a savior”

  1. I don’t know… that defeats the purpose, I think. I go to places not only to see or look or take photos. It’s for the experience. It’s for the feeling being in the place. They can have VR for those who don’t need an authentic experience. That should reduce the traffic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I fully support your suggestion of compiling virtual tours of sites, as I do digitization of museum, art gallery, etc contents for the sake of posterity and those (still the vast majority of the globe) who cant travel. Iam however againt then not letting people visit places or see things noting that nothing lasts for ever. Wear and tear caused by visitors raises a dilema. Wonton damage or destruction of antiquities, or any property for that matter , needs to be punished much more harshly than it is today in most places.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the balance we need to seek, Digitzation is still best we agree to keep alive the sites for future generations. It may not just be the impact of humans. Think natural disasters. The earthquakes have levelled a lot of Italy’s heritage villages!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s an interesting thought. I think it’s one of the problems related to over population and over development.. global warming anyone?

    It seems that for the planet we can’t continue the way we do today. Which is really sad because travel is one of the real joys in life.

    But, my favourite travels are often not to the ‘famous’ spots. In fact I often find those places to be a let down; partly due to too much hype, and partly due to too many people there.

    I’m kind of against technology, I think it’s ruining human life, so I can’t easily go with VR. I think the answer is to create a better culture everywhere we live, more centres about traditions / art, more nice coffee spots, more nice gardens / lakes etc. then we try to advertise a different type of tourism where people go to more diverse less common places.

    Leave those stereotypical tourism sites alone 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heheh…. well we are also those like to see the places in the flesh… so yeah this is all conflicting in our heads too. And it is true that some spots get too much attention. But they are must sees right?
      On technology, in the case of Syria it would probably make sense since it is unlikely many will make it there in the person.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s really sad what happened in Syria. Especially the cultural sites in the city of Aleppo. It’s even more sad to think that the only way we’ll be able to experience these places in the future is via virtual reality. On the positive side, at least the technology exists to somewhat preserve the memories of places of what once existed. But in my opinion, nothing can truly replace the actual experience of visting these places live. Having a real, authentic experience will always be much more meaningful than a virtual one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is true. But it might also be that we want it this way – ie the VR approach. For there are simply a lot of people traveling and the impact has become somewhat negative in quite some places. Barcelona, Venice just to name a few are beginning to see a push back.

      Liked by 1 person

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