Behind the scenes in 360 degrees

Behind the scenes in 360 degrees

New technology is making it easier than ever to offer everyone a glimpse behind the scenes at Te Papa.

We’ve shared tens of thousands of images collection objects in high resolution, and we’ve opened our venue spaces to Google Maps so that you can peek inside the museum.

Recently, we’ve been playing around with some new 360-degree videos that let you take a peek inside our collection storage rooms and hear about some objects that aren’t on display.

If you‘re on a smartphone or tablet, play the video and move your device around to see the image change (or just start spinning yourself around). If you’re on a desktop or laptop, click the video with your mouse or tap on the video and drag it around with your finger on a touchscreen.

To watch 360° videos, you need the latest version of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, or Internet Explorer on your computer. On mobile devices, use the latest version of the YouTube app for Android or iOS.

You can get the most basic 360° view – which is pretty exciting all on its own – using just your computer or device.

However, these videos come into their own when you get a virtual reality (VR) headset involved. It becomes an immersive experience when the outside world (the real world) is blocked out.

You don’t need a fancy headset to get the full immersive experience. There are cheap alternatives available like Google Cardboard or Cardboard Explorer. And keep an eye out as mobile companies frequently give them away to showcase the technology they’re selling.

The 360-degree video captures a whole bubble of video, giving an all-around view of a space. It is like being on a back-of-house tour, with more room to look around.

Our collection stores are amongst of our most precious spaces. The temperature, humidity levels, and other factors, are tightly controlled to protect objects and minimise deterioration. Only a small part of what we do as a museum is visible to the public.  Most of the work we do takes place behind the scenes and is invisible to pretty much everyone – including most of our staff, most of the time. Looking into these areas is a real treat.

We’d love to know what you think, and if you have any thoughts on how it could be improved, leave your feedback in the comments and you could inform how Te Papa is changing its face of digital.


  1. Really enjoyable videos and excellent use of the technology!

  2. This is freaking cool! Nice blog Lauren (and nice work, videographers).

    1. Thanks, Ruth. They’re great, aren’t they??

  3. Wow! These are amazing. Such a great way for people to get access, and awesome use of VR. I also see there are some amazing Te Papa pieces in Google Arts & Culture where you can zoom right in and see the finer details.

    1. Author

      Thanks for that, Jan-Hai, it’s great to hear you’re enjoying it. It’s amazing how much we can share these days that has been all but invisible up until now.

      For anyone who’s interested, Te Papa’s content on Google Arts & Culture can be found here

      Lauren McEwan-Nugent, Digital content administrator.

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