A new virtual underwater museum is offering people the opportunity to explore some of Malta’s most sought after archaeological sites…. all from the comfort of wherever you may be.
Underwater Malta opens a whole new world of discovery in the form of a virtual reality experience where one can visit the wrecks and sites around the Maltese islands from the comfort of their computer screen.
The virtual museum eliminates the physical barrier created by the sea itself and gives tourists and Maltese alike the chance to see for themselves the marvelous archaeological sites that were up to this point only accessible by divers.
The €100,000 project funded by the Malta Tourism Authority was made possible thanks to the use of advanced, powerful cameras and special underwater lights which captured the archaeological sites and mapping onto 3D models using a process called photogrammetry to recreate the sites on screen.
In doing so, Underwater Malta isn’t only providing visitors with a unique virtual experience, but it’s also archiving history in an attempt to preserve and protect the islands’ heritage.
All geekiness aside, the virtual museum is a fun and innovative way for people to engage with local archaeological sites and lends itself to the modern-day consumer. It’s also optimised for mobile devices and tablets and is super accessible for anyone to use.
From the oldest Phoenician shipwreck in the Mediterranean to World War II aircraft, Underwater Malta allows users to experience 10 historic sites…
…with another 10 sites expected to be added by the end of the year.
“The project will strengthen our tourism competitiveness,” Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said of the new virtual museum at a press conference yesterday.
“This should serve to increase the interest not only for those who practice diving as their main hobby, but also to others who will be able to enjoy it all without diving. At the same time, we will be promoting our sea on a virtual platform.”
Malta’s tourism industry took a blow this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nonetheless, initiatives such as Underwater Malta are expected to give the country an advantage over others and make it an attractive destination by allowing tourists to see Malta now and visit later.