Creative Loafing Uses Matterport 3D Tour: First Global Use as a Journalistic Storytelling Tool

Matterport 3D Showcase™ Interactive Tour: To get started, click on the blue 3D Showcase bar. Use the arrow keys to walk around or click to fly-in. Check out the dollhouse and floor plan views (lower left icons). | Credit: Matterport 3D Showcase tour courtesy of We Get Around Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod

Creative Loafing (Atlanta) is the first newspaper globally to use a Matterport 3D Showcase tour as journalistic tool to help with visual storytelling of a news story.

To accompany its news article about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. historical places to visit – Former MLK Driver Takes the Wheel Behind New Civil Rights Tour – Creative Loafing embedded a 3D tour of Ebenezer Baptist Church; a National Historic Site run by the National Park Service.

Creative Loafing also did a companion blog post – Take Virtual 3D Tour of Ebenezer Baptist Church – about the making of the Matterport 3D Showcase in a Q&A format with We Get Around Chief Photographer, Dan Smigrod.

Creative Loafing readers get to experience a behind the velvet ropes tour of this 100-year-old historic church where Dr. King delivered sermons to the congregation. With the interactive and immersive 3D tour, viewers can:

  • stand behind the lectern to experience the Church from Dr. King's perspective
  • view the Church from the Choir seating; just behind Dr. King
  • stand in the front and last row the balcony of the Church

Creative Loafing, Matterport and We Get Around – with the help of the National Park Service – collaborated on this first for news media. 

Video: How the Matterport 3D Showcase tour of Ebenezer Baptist Church looks on an iPad. See Creative Loafing online to view the interactive, 3D tour.

Plus, soon, the Ebenezer Baptist Church 3D tour will also be viewable within a virtual reality experience running on Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus.

Dan spent 19 hours over the course of three days last week shooting nearly 200 360º spherical images that are used to create the 3D tour of the three-level Church. While the photo shoot would normally take less than a day to shoot, Dan had to shoot in the brief moments that no one would appear in any of the images.

The collaboration of Creative Loafing, Matterport and We Get Around will be shared with 400+ media executives, journalists and journalism educators at the 16th Annual International Symposium on Online Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin (#ISOJ) 17-18 April 2015.

Dan Smigrod