VIRTUAL TOUR ENVIRONMENT OF CUBA’S NATIONAL SCHOOL OF ART
Innovative technologies have enabled new opportunities for collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about cultural heritage sites. Through a combination of two of these technologies, spherical imaging and virtual tour environment, we preliminarily documented one of Cuba’s National Schools of Art, the National Ballet School.The Ballet School is one of the five National Art Schools built in Havana, Cuba after the revolution. Due to changes in the political climate, construction was halted on the schools before completion. The Ballet School in particular was partially completed but never used for the intended purpose. Over the years, the surrounding vegetation and environment have started to overtake the buildings; damages such as missing bricks, corroded rebar, and broken tie bars can be seen. We created a virtual tour through the Ballet School which highlights key satellite classrooms and the main domed performance spaces. Scenes of the virtual tour were captured utilizing the Ricoh Theta S spherical imaging camera and processed with Kolor Panotour virtual environment software. Different forms of data can be included in this environment in order to provide a user with pertinent information. Image galleries, hyperlinks to websites, videos, PDFs, and links to databases can be embedded within the scene and interacted with by a user. By including this information within the virtual tour, a user can better understand how the site was constructed as well as the existing types of damage. The results of this work are recommendations for how a site can be preliminarily documented and information can be initially organized and shared.