Paper No. 184-4
Presentation Time: 8:50 AM
DEVELOPING AND DELIVERING DIGITAL CONTENT THROUGH MULTIPLE MEDIA AVENUES AND EXHIBITS AT FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT, COLORADO
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (FLFO), a relatively small unit within the National Park Service, is striving to provide cutting edge digital content to its visitors. These efforts include a touchscreen kiosk in the Visitors Center to greatly expand the amount of information available to visitors. The kiosk allows users to choose content, with several different topics and levels of interaction. For example, due to size limitations, security concerns, and fossil fragility, visitors are rarely permitted into the research area. Using the kiosk, visitors will be led on a virtual tour, learning about the different sections of the laboratory through short video clips, with the option to “access” other areas of the lab for more in-depth information. This will be coupled with live virtual tours using a GoPro camera with instantaneous wireless video streamed to the theater. Additionally, the monument is developing content for an augmented reality application (AR app) for smartphones and tablets which will be used in conjunction with the wayside exhibits along our trails. The app has the ability to “recognize” any wayside through the device’s camera and then deliver specialized content to the user. This content can be any type of media: photos, videos, audio, and animations. For example, we are developing a walking tour with the monument’s paleontologist for those visitors who prefer a more science-focused experience. In the future, content for students could be generated that conforms to Next Generation Science Standards, providing a valuable resource to K-12 teachers. Parks like FLFO, where science and natural history are the primary focus, can particularly benefit from these new media resources. There is much more information about the park than can be presented using the available exhibit space or waysides. Digital resources are not limited by space, and can provided the maximum amount of content tailored to each visitor. As new scientific discoveries are made about the paleontology of the monument, the content in the kiosk and AR app can be updated so that the science presented to the visitor is as accurate and current as possible. Utilizing these digital avenues of content delivery will allow the park to remain relevant and informative to all visitors as our understanding of the science grows and expands.