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Arts and Entertainment

Video: A Virtual Reality History Lesson On The Birthplace Of Los Angeles

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Tom Carroll, who explores Los Angeles' history through a series of engaging videos, has a new one. This time, he locates the city's birthplace, and this video can be viewed in virtual reality.

I'm a big fan of Tom Explores Los Angeles, a video series by L.A. enthusiast Tom Carroll. We've seen him wander the abandoned Lincoln Heights jail, tag along with a man who removes L.A.'s graffiti, and pace the Salton Sea. In his latest video, Tom shows us where L.A. was born.

This video is unique in that it's a 360-degree video. Carroll told LAist that as far as he knows, this is the first time virtual reality has been used to tell a piece of L.A. history.

You can view the video in its intended way if you have Google cardboard or another VR headset, or you can just watch it on your computer, and use the navigation arrows in the upper lefthand corner of the video to change your perspective.

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In the video, Carroll goes to the confluence of the Los Angeles River and the Arroyo Seco. He explains that in 1769, 12 Spanish explorers traveled from Mexico to California, stopping at the confluence. The explorers wrote about the area in their travel journal. In 1781, 44 people from Mexico formed the pueblo of Los Angeles nearby, building a dam.

We'll let Carroll explain the rest:

Carroll worked with Beards and Glasses VR on the project, who previously gave us a VR look at the Griffith Park Teahouse.

There is also another recent virtual reality experience that uses the L.A. River as its backdrop. Pacific Virtual Reality worked with Light Sail VR, the Topanga Film Institute and Friends of the Los Angeles River to create the Los Angeles River VR Experience, which you might have tried out at this past weekend's Nights on Broadway. This video focuses heavily on the future of the river.

You can check that out below: