If you are housebound or want a "try before you buy" museum trip then these great virtual tours will be right up your street. These are just the tip of the iceberg, but they are some of the best around.
Happy virtual ramblings.
What does a virtual tour mean?
As the term suggests, a virtual tour is a simulated visit around an existing location, like a museum. They are usually composed of a series of videos or still images.
They can also consist of other multimedia elements like sound effects, music, narration, and text, etc.
What science and tech museums offer virtual tours?
So, without further ado, here are 11 great science and technology museums that offer virtual tours. List list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has one
Washington D.C.'s world-class National Museum of Natural History is one great museum that offers an amazing virtual tour. It is one of the most popular museums in the world, and its virtual tour lets you see its amazing exhibits from the comfort of your own home.
While not quite the same as actually visiting it for yourself, their virtual tour takes you on a 360-degree tour around the museum, starting at its rotunda. Some of the highlights include the Hall of Mammals, Insect Zoo, and its Dinosaurs and Hall of Palaeobiology.
One real benefit of virtual tours like this is the ability to see some of their great past exhibits that are now long gone.
2. Why not tour NASA's Langley Research Center online?
NASA's famous Langley Research Center in Virginia, as well as its Glenn Research Center, also provides some cool virtual tours of their facilities. With these tours, you'll get to see some of the most important technological inventions in mankind's history without ever having to leave your own home.
The Space Center at Houston also offers an awesome app that provides virtual tours, augmented reality experiences, and videos and audio stories about space exploration.
3. The National Museum of the United States Air Force's virtual tour is cool
Another great science and tech museum that offers virtual tours is the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Being the official museum of the USAF, this museum is the place to go if you live and breathe aircraft.
The tour centers around the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio which houses a wide array of military planes and weapons. It also includes presidential airplanes of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon.
With the virtual tour, you can view its entire grounds and see many decommissioned aircraft from WW2, Vietnam and other wars at your leisure.
4. Explore the history of science online with Oxford University's History of Science Museum's virtual tour
Another world-class museum that offers virtual tours is Oxford University's History of Science Museum. The tour lets you explore their magnificent exhibits in ultimate comfort -- your own sofa.
You'll get to explore their fantastic exhibits and artifacts of some of the most important scientific discoveries in science history. The museum, ever ahead of the times, has been offering virtual tours since 1995, so you can trust the quality of it today.
5. Virtually tour the wonders of The Museo Galileo
Another awesome virtual tour you might want to check out is the one offered by the Museo Galileo. Located in the city of Florence, the museum houses some of the most important instruments in scientific history.
Virtual tours of the museum might actually be the best way to see the museum as it can be a bit tricky to actually physically visit the place. It is a pretty small building and tends to be very popular over the summer months.
6. Tour The National Museum of Computing on your computer
If computer history is more your bag, then you might want to take the National Museum of Computing's virtual tour. Take a tour of the history of the ongoing development of computing from, fittingly, your own computer.
The museum is home to the world's largest collection of working historic computers and follows this world-changing tech's history from the 1940s to the present day.
7. The Museum of Science in Boston also has a great virtual tour
Yet another amazing science and tech museum that offers virtual tour is the Museum of Science in Boston. The museum has a long history of being a leader in producing digital exhibits, videos, and audio presentations, and it is no surprise that their virtual tour is world-class.
8. Visit The Natural History Museum, London from your own home
If you love all things natural history, you might want to take a virtual tour of the world-renowned Natural History Museum (NHM) in London. Developed in part by Google, the tour is a great, and interesting way to tour the museum if making the trip is difficult.
Sadly "Dippy" the Diplodocus is no longer in residence, but the virtual tour is still very impressive indeed.
9. Belgium's Museum of Natural Sciences' virtual tour is brilliant
Another awesome virtual tour of a science and tech museum comes as the courtesy of The Museum of Natural Sciences in Belgium. Containing tons of Dinosaurs and other interesting scientific exhibits, this virtual tour is definitely worth a gander.
Like the NHM in London, this tour was partially developed with the help of Google's Cultural Institute.
10. Tour The German Oceanographic Museum with its virtual tour
Also brought to you with the help of Google, this virtual tour is pretty cool too. Take a tour of the German Oceanographic Museum without ever having to get off your backside.
Physically located in Stralsund, Germany, the museum is jam-packed full of exhibits about the wonders of the deep. This really is an interesting virtual tour if you cannot leave the house for whatever reason.
11. The Museum of Mines of Mercury is something a little different
And finally, here is a virtual tour of something a little different. This tour takes you around the Museum of Mines of Mercury Monte Amiata in Santa Fiora, Italy.
View the exhibits and mock-ups from the history of mining from the comfort of your own home.