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Virtual Tour of the White House Introduced by Google and the White House, Featuring Audio Captions and Spanish Language Support

by Ryan Lee
8 comments
Virtual Tour of the White House

Unable to visit Washington, D.C., or secure a spot on a White House tour? Fret not.

In collaboration with Google Maps and Google Arts & Culture, the White House rolled out an enhanced virtual tour of the iconic residence this past Friday, coinciding with National Civics Day.

Utilizing a computer or mobile device, visitors can virtually navigate through all the spaces that would be accessible during an in-person tour of the edifice.

This revamped online tour aligns with First Lady Jill Biden’s objective to make the White House as accessible to the public as possible. Jill Biden, who has an extensive background in community college education, anticipates that educators will leverage this tool to instruct students about the White House and its storied past, according to her spokesperson, Elizabeth Alexander.

“Inability to travel to the nation’s capital shouldn’t preclude individuals from experiencing the White House. Therefore, we’re bringing the White House experience directly to them,” stated Alexander.

Significantly, this is the inaugural Google-enabled White House virtual tour to incorporate audio captions aimed at assisting individuals with disabilities. Narrated by Carlos Elizondo, the White House Social Secretary, these captions appear on-screen to furnish historical context for each room.

Moreover, this initiative marks Google’s first virtual tour of the White House to include a Spanish translation feature.

The tour commences with a succinct video in which President Joe Biden and the First Lady extend their welcome to visitors, mirroring the greeting presented at the White House Visitors Center for those attending in person.

To capture the visuals, Google Street View technology was employed, beginning at the East Wing Entrance and spanning all publicly accessible spaces, such as the library, the China Room, the Green, Blue, and Red rooms, the East Room, and the State Dining Room.

Google Arts & Culture’s storytelling tool was instrumental in the creation of this tour.

Ben Gomes, Google’s Senior Vice President of Learning and Sustainability, expressed that the purpose of Google’s Arts & Culture division is to democratize access to global culture for individuals everywhere.

The tour can be accessed via the official White House website, as well as through Google Maps and the Google Arts & Culture platform.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Virtual Tour of the White House

What is the new virtual tour of the White House?

The White House, in partnership with Google Maps and Google Arts & Culture, has launched an enhanced virtual tour. This tour allows users to navigate through the White House using a computer or mobile device, covering all the spaces available during a public tour.

Who is the virtual tour aimed at?

The virtual tour is aimed at the general public, especially those who are unable to visit Washington, D.C., or secure a spot on an in-person White House tour. It is also designed as an educational tool for teachers.

What special features does this virtual tour include?

The tour includes audio captions narrated by White House Social Secretary Carlos Elizondo, which provide historical context for each room. It also features a Spanish translation, making it accessible to a broader audience.

How does this initiative align with First Lady Jill Biden’s goals?

The virtual tour is part of First Lady Jill Biden’s broader mission to make the White House as accessible to as many people as possible. Jill Biden hopes that educators will use this tool to teach students about the history and significance of the White House.

How can one access the virtual tour?

The virtual tour is accessible via the official White House website, Google Maps, and the Google Arts & Culture platform.

What technology was used to create this tour?

Google Street View technology was used to capture the imagery for the tour, and Google Arts & Culture’s storytelling tool was instrumental in its creation.

What does the tour cover in terms of locations within the White House?

The tour starts at the East Wing Entrance and includes all publicly accessible spaces such as the library, the China Room, the Green, Blue, and Red rooms, the East Room, and the State Dining Room.

Is the tour available in languages other than English?

Yes, this is Google’s first virtual tour of the White House to include a Spanish translation feature.

What was the occasion for launching this tour?

The tour was launched to coincide with National Civics Day, a day dedicated to promoting civic education and engagement.

More about Virtual Tour of the White House

  • Official White House Website
  • Google Maps Platform
  • Google Arts & Culture
  • Statement from First Lady Jill Biden
  • National Civics Day Overview
  • Overview of Google Street View Technology
  • Accessibility Features in Virtual Tours

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8 comments

Karen Brown October 27, 2023 - 8:11 am

missed the chance to tour the white house last year cuz of the pandemic. This virtual tour is the next best thing. Finally!

Reply
Alice Thompson October 27, 2023 - 9:17 am

Love that they launched it on National Civics Day. shows they really care about education and civic engagement.

Reply
Robert Williams October 27, 2023 - 11:44 am

I gotta say, the tech behind this is pretty awesome. Google Street View for a virtual tour of the White House? Next-level stuff, folks.

Reply
Mike Green October 27, 2023 - 6:33 pm

What took them so long to include audio captions for the disabled? Better late than never I guess.

Reply
Tim Johnson October 27, 2023 - 10:22 pm

Is it just me or does the idea of a virtual tour make the White House feel more, I dunno, reachable? Makes politics a bit more relatable maybe.

Reply
Emily Davis October 27, 2023 - 10:29 pm

Finally, something for those who can’t make the trip. Its really amazing that they’re making it accessible to everyone, especially with the Spanish translation. kudos to them!

Reply
Sarah Lee October 27, 2023 - 10:39 pm

As a teacher, I’m excited about this. Now I can use this as an educational tool for my students. It’s great to see Jill Biden supporting this.

Reply
John Smith October 28, 2023 - 12:03 am

Wow, this is a game-changer. Never thought I’d see the day when I could tour the White House from my living room. So cool!

Reply

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