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Tour L.A. County Museum of Art online in 3D via Virtual Gallerie

Posted: March 11, 2009 8:00 p.m.
Updated: March 10, 2009 6:00 a.m.
 
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Virtual Gallerie, LLC (VG), a 3D software and production company that caters to museums, universities and other cultural institutions, launched the first personalized and interactive multimedia museum tour in virtual 3D online for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

LACMA now offers their visitors a free multimedia tour on a Nokia PDA that can display still images and educational text, play audio and video commentary, and features a "Favorites" button, which allows visitors to bookmark objects that they can later view from home in a personalized 3D virtual gallery online.

Made possible by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, LACMA hired VG and two other vendors, Antenna Audio, a museum audio and multimedia content producer, and R.B. Zack & Associates, Inc. (RBZ&A), an application development and database design company, to develop, produce and launch this project. RBZ&A developed the PDA's application, content database and middleware and provided overall project management, Antenna provided the audio and video content on over 150 artworks, and VG created the 3D virtual gallery that is populated by the visitor's Favorites.

"We are always looking for ways to make LACMA as accessible as possible to its patrons," said LACMA's Chief Information Officer Peter Bodell. "The PDA tours make art viewing a more personal experience, and we hope the virtual experience will heighten the enjoyment and education of our visitors."

"Irvine is proud to support this innovative effort to extend the museum experience to new and more diverse audiences," added John E. McGuirk, director of the Arts program at The James Irvine Foundation. "This new technology will teach valuable lessons to the greater arts field about how to better incorporate technology to enhance the visitor's experience."

LACMA's 3D Virtual Gallery is located on the museum's website via a MyLACMA account, enabling visitors to interact with their favorite artworks by examining them up close, moving them around the room, accessing the multimedia content and saving their galleries online. Visitors also can access additional content about each artwork that they didn't see at the museum through LACMA's Collections Online.

Museums now are more frequently extending their patrons' experience beyond the walls of the institution and allowing visitors to continue their visit online where they can explore much more content through a personalized 3D virtual tour on the museum's website.

About Virtual Gallerie, LLC
Virtual Gallerie, LLC (VG) provides museums, galleries, universities, and other cultural institutions with leading-edge 3D visualization software that enables them to plan, design, visualize, and share their art exhibitions with their peers and the public online. VG sells a variety of 3D software that is easy to use and may be utilized for a variety of applications by exhibition planners, curators, web designers, educators, visitor services, operations, and fundraisers. For additional information, please visit www.virtualgallerie.com.

Following is a list of some of VG's customers: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, de Young Museum, Palace Legion of Honor, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Rubin Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Frost Art Museum, Burke Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, Florida International University, Chadron State College, Syracuse University, University of Oklahoma, St. Bonaventure University, Michigan State University, and the University of Washington.

About R.B. Zack & Associates, Inc.
R.B. Zack & Associates, Inc. develops custom software and provides database design and integration services to the entertainment, financial services, manufacturing and other industries looking to increase productivity or uniquely position themselves through the effective use of technology. Since 1981, RBZ&A has been providing innovative solutions to some of the most demanding problems from theatrical budgeting to royalty accounting, and from payroll data mining to precious metals trading. For more information, please visit us online at www.rbza.com.

About Antenna Audio
Antenna Audio (www.antennaaudio.com) is the world leader in audio, multimedia, and mobile cultural interpretation. Each year, more than 20 million visitors purchase Antenna Audio tours in 12 languages across 20 countries at approximately 450 of the world's most famous, fascinating and frequented locations. Founded in 1984 and a subsidiary of Discovery Communications, Inc. since 2006, Antenna Audio is a global company with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Visit our iTunes store at www.itunes.com/discoveryaudio.

About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA)(NASDAQ:DISCB)(NASDAQ:DISCK) is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.

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