3D scanning technology brings Manchester’s cultural sites to you

Exciting new 3D scanning technology is being used to offer students, staff and the wider public virtual tours of museums, galleries and heritage sites in Greater Manchester.

The School of Arts Languages and Cultures, The Institute for Cultural Practices, Creative Manchester and Digital Futures have launched a new project to 3D scan public spaces in cultural institutions at The University of Manchester and local museums, galleries and other cultural and heritage sites using Matterport technology.

So far, scanned spaces include the Martin Harris Centre, the People’s History Museum, Band on the Wall and the Manchester Museum (scanned by Apollo3D), with more locations including The Whitworth art gallery to follow in the near future.

At a time when visiting these spaces can raise a number of challenges, the 3D scans provide an alternative and complementary virtual experience of being in and walking through a cultural space. The project provides university staff opportunities to embed the 3D scans in teaching and learning activities, and enables students to conduct virtual research in these spaces.

As the project moves forward, the aim is that the 3D scans will become an essential public engagement tool, providing cultural organisations with additional opportunities to engage with existing and new audiences.