“A touch of the old-school travel brochure combined with full-screen video created that essential reaction: ‘I want to be there.’” —juror Keri Elmsly
“A great mix of various forms of technology and interactivity.”—juror Harold Jones
Overview: Rappel down crevasses in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords. Explore the active volcanoes of Hawai‘i. Swim through coral reefs on a shipwreck at Florida’s Dry Tortugas islands—all without leaving your computer. Created by Stink Studios, Google and Ghost Robot, this site celebrates the US National Park Service’s centennial with interactive tours of five US national parks. Using 16:9 and 360-degree video, the tours also explore the science behind these geographically diverse parks, with content that lets visitors explore the night sky, navigate like a bat and witness glacial erosion over time.
•The site’s content was made possible by a team of 60 people, including film by director Adam Newport-Berra of Ghost Robot, audio by Silver Sound and music by composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.
•Google drove traffic to the site by replacing Google Maps’ Pegman icon with a park ranger.
•From ideation to launch, the site took five months to complete.
Comments by Sean Manion, senior interactive producer at Stink Studios:
How many videos, images and other media elements does the site have? “Lots. In 26 days, we traveled almost 20,000 miles by boat, plane and a tricked-out school bus. During that time, we captured eleven terabytes of footage. The final experience contains more than 25 minutes of film content—much of it in 360 degrees. We wanted to capture what made each park so special and unique.”
Did you use any applications that you hadn’t used before? “For this project, we worked in React. This isn’t the first time we’ve worked with this framework, but this project is one of the largest we’ve produced with this library. Our development teams—across Stink Studios’ two offices, in Brooklyn and London—decided early on that React was the right tool for the job.”
What was the response to the site? “The response from press and people alike has been amazing. The 360-degree content has been extremely well received. We’re most excited about the educational component of the campaign. Google gave out Google Cardboard to the National Park Service and the parks featured on the site, and more will be delivered to schools around the country. Google’s also sponsoring field trips to US national parks for Title I children who have never been to one before. As proud of this site as we are, nothing beats seeing the real thing.”