Expedition Nebraska

A 3D Interactive Natural History Experience

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In collaboration with the University of Nebraska State Museum, Nebraska Public Media Labs presents Expedition Nebraska. This 3D interactive experience features two levels of exhibits about Nebraska's natural history, set in an open air courtyard amidst the Nebraska Sandhills.

"The Museum Builders" exhibit is set in the very first museum space, a room in the University's original building, University Hall, and tells the story of the State Museum's earliest days. Visitors can interact with artifacts present from the earliest days of the museum collection and learn more about the museum's founding. (Play time ~ 15 minutes.)

"The Sandhills" exhibit on the upper lever features information about this unique Nebraskan landscape, and its importance to the aquifer that permeates the ground beneath it. (Play Time ~ 10 minutes.)

"The Cave of Time" exhibit on the lower level is a simulation of a Dakota sandstone cave with seven portals allowing you to travel to seven ages of Nebraska prehistory via simulations that showcase different climates, landscapes and prehistoric animals. (Play Time ~ 45 minutes.)

Just click a button above to begin!

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Accessibility Features

Below is a list of accessibility features included in this experience. You'll be able to access these within the experience as well.

Captions: All audio is captioned against a high contrast backdrop. Captions are enabled by default, but an option to turn off captions can be reached by hitting the "Tab" key on the web and the gear icon in the app.

Colors: Colors in the game have been tested against filters for protanopia (red), deuteranopia (green), and tritanopia (blue) color blindness. We also do not use color alone to indicate a change in the experience.

Customizable Controls:

  • Field of View: Allows the visitor to have a tighter or wider angle perspective on a scene
  • Inverted Camera Control (App Only): Allows the visitor to move the joystick up to look down and down to look up.
  • Joystick Swap (App Only): Allows the visitor to control which joystick controls movement and which joystick
  • Look Speed: Allows the visitor to control the speed with which they look around the experience (camera responsiveness).
  • Movement Speed (App Only): Allows the visitor to control how fast they move around the experience.

Directional Audio (Spatial Sound): Audio is oriented to a fixed point in 3D space and changes as the visitor's orientation to the point of origin changes.

Font: We are using a clean, sans serif font designed by PBS.

Font Size: Visitors can adjust font size on both the web and app versions. This option is reached by hitting the "Tab" key on the web and the gear icon in the app.

Interactive Elements: The Museum Builders exhibit has interactive objects that may be picked up and examined. These are outlined in teal.

We strive to make our experiences as accessible as possible, and welcome feedback from the community. You can reach out to us with feedback or questions at: accessibility@nebraskapublicmedia.org.



Intrigued? Check out some still images taken from within the experience!


Technical Notes:

Desktop Web: The web version of Expedition Nebraska is designed to be viewed via desktop and laptop computers using recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, and the newest version of Safari. No special devices or equipment are needed to explore, and a minimum internet download speed of 10mbps is recommended. The game engine we use to build this experience only supports desktop web browsers, and mobile devices are supported via native apps. For those who want or need to use a mobile browser, we recommend our virtual tour version.

Mobile App: The iOS and Android versions support most recent devices, and your device's app store will tell you if your device is not supported. We recommend downloading the app over Wi-Fi.

Virtual Tour: The virtual tour version is made up of pre-selected locations within the experience and does not allow full 3D exploration. It works with desktop and mobile device browsers, and was created as a low-bandwidth alternative for visitors lacking high speed internet, as well as a mobile alternative for those not wishing to download the app.

VR Headset: The VR app is designed for Meta's Oculus Quest 2 headset and is currently available to test as an alpha version via App Lab and SideQuest. We are refining the experience throughout fall 2022, and your feedback helps! If you try Expedition Nebraska in VR, tell us what you think by emailing feedback or questions to: accessibility@nebraskapublicmedia.org.

All versions are built in the Unity game engine (2021 LTS version), except for the virtual tour which is built by taking 360-degree images from Unity that are assembled using 3DVista Pro virtual tour software.