WeChat mini program offers general public virtual tours of Great Wall completely online

(People's Daily Online) 17:35, June 28, 2022

Photo shows a beautiful view of the Great Wall presented via the WeChat mini program “A virtual tour of the Great Wall.” (Photo/People’s Daily Online)

A WeChat mini program that offers a window online for the general public to visit the Great Wall virtually was recently launched in China.

The mini program was developed after a recent Great Wall protection and maintenance project was completed. During the project, several sections of the Great Wall were restored with the support of a total funding outlay of nearly 50 million yuan ($7.48 million). A documentary and a cartoon book popularizing knowledge about the Great Wall were also launched after the conclusion of the restoration project.

“During the restoration of the Great Wall, we found that a lot of people didn’t know very much about the Great Wall. When we published a cartoon book about the Great Wall, we came further to realize that the knowledge about the Great Wall is very complex and it was impossible to explain it in just one book. We hoped that we could promote the general public’s understanding of the Great Wall by taking some creative measures,” said Liu Yuzhu, head of the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation (CFCHC).

Under the joint efforts of the CFCHC and Chinese tech giant Tencent, which explored ways to present the Great Wall and invite people to virtually experience parts of the Great Wall that might otherwise be hard to access, the mini program titled “A virtual tour of the Great Wall” was completed.

“The digital Great Wall,” as the most prominent function of the mini program, recreates the Xifengkou section of the Great Wall and provides viewers with an immersive and interactive experience through games.

Cui Xiaochun, vice president of Tencent interactive entertainment and head of the R&D team for “the digital Great Wall,” expressed that various technologies have been applied to create a realistic environment and high-quality viewing experiences. The function enables viewers to get a glimpse of the Great Wall and the natural landscape surrounding it in a 360-degree video.

According to Gu Yucai, deputy director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA), the protection of the Great Wall is a systematic job that requires the joint efforts and wide participation of the whole society.

“A virtual tour of the Great Wall,” which shortens the distance between the general public and China’s Great Wall, provides a platform for people to actively take part in the protection of the ancient manmade structure, and represents a successful practice for promoting the creative development of China’s excellent traditional culture, said Gu.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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