Google Arts and Culture (GAC) has launched an interactive exhibit featuring Korea’s Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
The exhibit, which marks the 70th anniversary of the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement, is part of a collaborative project between Google and nine Korean research and cultural institutions ― including the War Memorial of Korea, United Nations Peace Memorial Hall, DMZ Museum and DMZ Botanic Garden.
Utilizing GAC’s Street View, 3D and other digitization technologies, the exhibit provides visitors with audio recordings and a virtual tour of the restricted sections bordering the zone, including 360-degree perspectives of the civilian control line and the external buffer zone.
To better immerse visitors, the Korean organizations curated 60 mini-stories using 5,000 assets of historical archives and media that capture events of the Korean War leading to the eventual ceasefire on July 27, 1953.
The 2.5-mile-wide and 160-mile-long DMZ has remained off-limits for almost 70 years, allowing flora and fauna native to the region to flourish without human intervention.
It has since become a sanctuary for a variety of bird and fish species, insects, rare plants and endangered animals that either live in the site or visit it during the winter.
Home to an estimated 1,800 plant species, including 72 that are rare or endangered, the DMZ has developed a unique ecological value that makes it an essential part of South Korea’s botanical and climate science studies.
Simon Rein, GAC’s senior program manager, highlighted the importance of immersing visitors beyond just publishing historical images by creating stories out of digital assets.
That’s when you actually learn something. And this is what this website tries to do with all these curated stories. I think in this way, probably the only place online that has such a kind of curated experience about the (DMZ is here). This means that if other cultural institutions see the site and decide they have a relevant story to share as well, we can work with them and add (the content here). So the site can keep growing.