In the last two days I’ve discovered two virtual tours that should be of interest to history teachers. The Vatican Museums Online provides six virtual tours including a tour of the Sistine Chapel. The imagery of the Vatican Museum tours is of the highest quality. On many parts of the tours visitors can zoom in to see some of the finer details of the displays. Along with great images, the Vatican Museum tours provide historical information and explanations for most aspects of each tour.
Beyond Space and Time offers a great virtual tour of China’s Forbidden City. The Forbidden City tour has a similar look and feel to Second Life. In the Forbidden City tour users are assigned an avatar and are free to travel throughout the Forbidden City and complete activities that they come across. The Forbidden City tour does not provide images of real artifacts as the entire tour is animated in a Second Life style. The Forbidden City tour is not web based, you have to download a rather large file containing the Forbidden City tour. The Forbidden City virtual tour is available for Mac, PC, and Linux operating systems.