Ground Zero — Madison, Wisconsin.

Ground Zero -- Madison Protest Rallies

Experience the mass protest rallies in Madison heard around the world.

If you ever wondered about the power of 360VR to convey the experience of a place or event, check out this Tour de Force of the protest rallies in Madison, Wisconsin that took place in February and March of 2011.

Still photos and video of the rallies where everywhere. They showed what was happening (mass protests against a bill from Governor Scott Walker and the Republican led legislature that would strip public unions of collective bargaining rights). But viewers remained outside observers. There was little sense of what it was like to actually be there. The experience and passion that participants shared ends up being a critical part of the story. It is simply missing in other media. 360VR lets viewers step into the image and experience the events for themselves.

Try viewing with and without sound. Notice the dramatic difference that makes.

These interactive panoramas added important context for viewers. For instance, the first image opens with a view looking down from the balcony level showing the capitol filled with protesters — the same shot shown time and again in all the news media. In the 360VR you pan from that overall view to come face to face with those around you. The impersonal mass becomes personal. The viewer is in control, free to look anywhere at will. With no question that something may be hidden “outside the frame” the 360VR gains stronger credibility than other media.

The primary goal was to document the experience of an important historical event. The secondary goal was to test publication in online news media. Self publication was never envisioned. Yet the demo site leaked out and with no promotion well over 100,000 people have viewed it, many coming back multiple times. Nearly 23 thousand have shared it on various social media.

Don’t miss how these 360 panoramas unwrap be used in print and compare that to traditional still photography.

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