Safeguarding a museum through the COVID-19 pandemic
STEAM, the museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon, UK, contracted RSK company Cognica to conduct a full digital scan of its premises in August 2019. We provided a full 3D render of the museum and its exhibits using the NavVis IndoorViewer software, which took less than three hours to complete.
Cognica is finding that more and more businesses are demanding software to enable the digital recreation of sites and assets to aid with development, planning or maintenance owing to the ever-increasing need to cut costs and reduce their environmental footprint. However, the scans also have enabled the museum staff to continue working and to offer a full digital tour experience, free to access, to the public after the museum closed because of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. More than 14,000 visitors have participated in the virtual tour. Moreover, the museum has continuously updated and added tour content to retain interest levels throughout a unique period in global history.
Cognica’s Insite360 scans provided the museum owner, Swindon Borough Council, with digital twins of the building and assets that could be used for planning purposes and to determine space requirements for future exhibits, as precision measurements were taken throughout the facility. The data gleaned from the 3D scans could also be used for specific user information such as outlining the building’s accessibility. The museum’s 360° panoramic images accurately show the best access routes, thus reducing anxiety and ensuring a safe experience for users. The routing functionality also enables users to determine the best and most direct way to navigate around the site, with accurate pathfinding to each exhibit, thus further enhancing the experience for end-users.
Our tool has helped to keep visitors interested in the museum while under lockdown and has enabled people from far and wide to enjoy the experience. This has supported the museum in maintaining a healthy following through the hardest of times. STEAM was delighted with the tool’s multifaceted uses and has praised Cognica for helping the museum to remain accessible to its visitors.