World Heritage Tour is a pretty amazing conservation concept: Photograph the world. Post it online. Let everyone see it and add to it, because the reality is it's disappearing at an alarming rate. But, with WHT working hard to document all those places most of us can't see, we get a pretty stunning compilation of what the world has to offer—and in 360 degree photography no less.
World Heritage Tour is a non-profit organization that takes the World Heritage List —851 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value—and catalogues them through panorgraphies, or 360 degree photos. Of the 851 registered sites, 25 % have been visited which totals about 250+ sites including some off-list with 1500+ panographies. Their site is pretty easy to navigate by just going to the world map and clicking on the sites they have photographed:
The conservation project began in July 2001 and will likely take years to complete, but it will be well worth it for what it will ultimately offer. Why document all this? Well, as they say at World Heritage Tour, the world fully of beautiful and wonderful places that are disappearing because of 1) climate change and natural disasters ; 2) illegal trade (logging, looting, poaching) ; 3) mass tourism and travel industrialization ; 3) mismanagement (incompetence, wrong policies, lack of funds) ; 4) modernity (fast development, leaving or growing populations) ; political instability, conflict and war ; 5)and 6) pollution. Now, that's quite a laundry list of problems, but, honestly people, it's all completely true. And, though only a small part of the global green movement towards conservation, I believe that the best way to spread conservation is to show what is out there. Think of Planet Earth on Discovery HD. When you see images like that, how can you not want to save it?
If you feel inclined (and you should) go to the website and give some support by viewing the images, joining the site, reading the press about the site, adding your own photos if you have them and, my personal favorite "rule," "do not travel in groups. " I'll leave you with World Heritage Tours shout out: To all governments, organizations, companies and individuals : act rresponsibly. Don't commercialize, pollute, trash or blow up World Heritage Sites. Seth Plattner
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