There is only one truly wild place left in Europe. Located in Northern Sweden, Sarek National Park is a wilderness where no vehicles have ever been allowed to roam and fading trails are the only way forward. And now, world-renowned photojournalist Martin Edström and the IVAR team plan to document Sarek’s natural wonders in virtual reality.Sarek National Park has long been a bastion of nature in Sweden and is protected by special rules and regulations—including keeping all forms of mechanized travel from entering. This has helped preserve Sarek’s pristine nature, making it the most untouched wilderness in all of Europe. No other wilderness in Europe compares its vast expanse.
«THIS PLACE IS JUST MAJESTIC IN EVERY WAY. THERE’S NO CELL PHONE COVERAGE, NO BUILDINGS, NOTHING. IT’S RAW NATURE.» CHECK OUT THE OMNI
The photographer and journalist has long been committed to preserving important natural and cultural heritage sites with digital technology. Martin starting by creating interactive 360° stories from places like Petra in Jordan. In 2015, he created the first interactive 360° story for National Geographic, allowing people to virtually explore Son Doong, the largest cave in the world.In 2014, Martin came up with the idea of documenting Sarek with a large library of 360° content and capturing it in a very high resolution (up to 8K). A great unknown is how well-protected Sarek will be in the future—even though it enjoys rigorous protection today, the wilderness is still affected by a large and growing tourism industry in neighboring regions. Climate change is evident here as well, with glaciers melting and patterns changing.
An interactive map of Sarek
«I WANT TO CREATE A STORY WORLD FOR PEOPLE TO EXPLORE SAREK IN VR SO THEY CAN TAKE PART IN THE NATURAL WONDERS.»
Martin also highlights the importance of this kind of storytelling to make sure people care about environmental protection. Climate change is a hotly debated issue, and Martin says it’s easy to forget what we’re actually talking about—preserving nature for coming generations.
Just the equipment you can carry
«WE KNEW THAT WE HAD GOTTEN SOME AMAZING SCENES WHEN WE LOADED THE SD CARD DATA INTO THE IMPORTER SOFTWARE.» CHECK OUT AUTOPANO VIDEO
After the Omni Importer imports all the scenes and pre-stitches them, the workflow in Autopano® Video Pro and Autopano Giga begins. Martin’s team spends most of their time in these two software programs. Autopano Giga provides several ways of improving the stitch. Martin and his team edit, add new control points and use the Mask tool to improve the stitching.
«BEST PART OF OMNI? THAT IT IS SYNCHRONIZED OF COURSE—NOW WE CAN JUST SKIP THE SYNCHRONIZATION STEP WHICH USED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST CRUCIAL AND TIME CONSUMING.»