Checking out Chi-town
Travelers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport have a new high-tech way to pass the time between flights: virtual sightseeing. The Chicago Department of Aviation and Office of Tourism unveiled the “Explore Chicago” installation at the airport this summer that includes two technology lounges and 50 HP TouchSmart touch-screen computers that show off major attractions.
The computers display the city’s new tourism Web site, www.explorechicago.org, which includes listings of current events, tours and attractions; multi-media content, including audio tours, slideshows and video clips; information about each of Chicago’s neighborhoods; and a virtual visitor center with downloadable brochures, maps and resources for travelers. Users also can browse through and zoom in on panoramic images of iconic Chicago locations, including the skyline, Millennium Park, and the interior of the Field Museum.
The technology lounges feature 30-by-10-foot ultra high-resolution panoramic images of Chicago landmarks. Three touch-screen computers in the lounges display interactive versions of the panoramic images, and two other computers display NASA’s Web site at www.nasa.gov/city. The installation was made possible through a partnership with Hewlett-Packard, with additional support from NASA and GigaPan. The exhibit will run through Sept. 30, 2009.