Through a comprehensive database of images and objects connected to an interactive map of the plantation and a navigable 3-D recreation of the home, this Web site brings the experience of being at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to life online.
As visitors pass through each room of Monticello, Jefferson’s architectural vision gives structure to his ceaseless curiosities and diverse accomplishments, while the artifacts and stories encountered in each location make Jefferson, his ideas, and his world apparent. This place-based storytelling Web site provides multiple modes for diverse audiences to connect locations—outside and in—with database records. Either through self-discovery or mediated tours, records in the Monticello collection are revealed in context with rich visualizations of spaces. The house was accurately recorded with laser scans and recreated in 3-D. Visitors can navigate through the 3-D house, look in any direction and access images, objects, and information related to each room through which they pass. The tours provide “auto-play” opportunities, allowing visitors to experience the site with narrated movies that guide them from room to room. A scalable interactive map displays buildings, roads, paths, farms, fields, and other features according to the time period selected. Visitors can zoom in and out to change their view, select locations, and access related materials. The collection is fully searchable, and the site will continue to grow with the addition of more artifacts, stories, and archeological discoveries.
Press & AwardsWebby Awards, Winner, Cultural Institutions, May 2006I.D., Annual Design Review, Honorable Mention, Interactive, April 2006HOW, Interactive Design Annual, Outstanding Consumer Website, 2006Museums and the Web Conference, Honourable Mention, Best of the Web, 2006
Fantastic. Every aspect of the user experience has been thought through thoroughly to make this interactive visit memorable...What an exemplary site...The site combines an outstanding number of visualization, interpretation, and navigation techniques and technologies in a near seamless manner.Print Magazine, Digital Design Annual, Winner, 2006“Ten Websites You Shouldn’t Miss: Monticello Explorer,” The Christian Science Monitor, Jim Regan, December 29, 2005
With 3-D tours of Thomas Jefferson’s estate, this site offers an extensive survey of a more traditional property. Explorer was as impressive for its ease of navigation as for the quality of its interactive tours.USA Today, Hot Sites, May 12, 2005
A virtual site tour is never the same thing as being there, but the good people at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation have gone way out of their way to make the experience worthwhile, providing a trip through a 3-D model of Monticello and likely more access to Jefferson’s famed plantation and home than you’d be privy to during a physical visit.“A Virtual Visit to Monticello,” The Christian Science Monitor, Jim Regan, April 26, 2005
Monticello Explorer offers what could easily be an overwhelming amount of information, but keeps things intelligible through navigation options that are as intuitive as walking through someone’s home. (Which, as it turns out, is exactly what you’ll be doing.)“Web Review: A Virtual Visit to Monticello,” The News & Observer, Jim Regan, April 26, 2005
Monticello Explorer not only lets you walk the halls and fields of the estate, it actually gives you more access to this World Heritage Site than you’d get during a personal visit.“Place-Based Storytelling Tools: A New Look at Monticello,” Museums and the Web 2005: Proceedings, Brad Johnson, April 2005
© 2013 Second Story, Inc.
- Brad Johnson
- David Brewer, David Knape, Thomas Wester
- 3-D Visualization & Animation
- Matt Arnold
- Motion Designer
- Martin Linde
- A/V Editing & Production
- David Waingarten