ONNA RESEARCH + DESIGN
DELFT, NL | WORLDWIDE
CHELSEA CREEKVIEW + VIRTUAL TOUR
Using a Ricoh Theta S camera borrowed from the Google Streetview Camera Loan Program, 360° photospheres and a virtual video tour were created of Chelsea Creek, a heavily industrialized waterway that divides the neighborhood of East Boston, MA and the city of Chelsea, MA. We wired up a 20' boat with 4 GoPros, a Kodak 4K 360 video camera, and the Ricoh Theta S on loan from Google. It's the same camera they use to make StreetView, so we affectionately nicknamed this project CreekView! These portals offer a public, free, high-quality means of virtual access to the waterway as plans for more physical access are envisioned and discussed by the local community.
CREATIVE ACCESS TO A DESIGNATED PORT AREA.
Because it is a State Designated Port Area, commercial and industrial operations dominate the banks along both sides of Chelsea Creek. Facilities store 100% of the jet fuel used at Boston Logan International Airport, 70-80% of the region’s heating oil in several large tank facilities, and road salt for 350+ communities. Its is a vital component of the State of Massachusetts' economic engine, but until recently little attention has been devoted to its functionality as a waterfront landscape that residents could enjoy.
The impetus for this project came from conversations with local community groups and environmental justice organizations that are working to address the demand for more equitable access to Chelsea Creek. Nonprofit organizations like Green Roots in Chelsea are leading advocacy efforts to creatively envision ways of allowing public enjoyment of the waterfront, while still conforming to the regulations of the DPA.
DOCUMENTING THE SHORELINE.
Over the course of one low tide, we documented the entirety of both banks of Chelsea Creek within the federal shipping channel through continuous photographs, high-definition and 360° video.
CHECK OUT THE VIEW ON GOOGLE MAPS.
Now that these photospheres are live on Google Maps, any viewer can drop in to Chelsea Creek to experience this unique landscape from the perspective of our boat.
We can even measure public demand: over 30,000 people have viewed these images since they were posted online in 2017.
TOUR CHELSEA CREEK IN 360° VIRTUAL REALITY.
The virtual tour is hosted publicly on Vimeo and has been shared with the community through city government and community organizations.
Try it yourself! Take a 360° trip in virtual reality: check out the massive fuel tank facility on the right, pass underneath the bridge, and view the two waterfront parks on either side.