About a decade and a half ago Kansas City revitalized Union Station, the grand train station that is located in mid-town. The train station is home to Science City and a number of other attractions, one of which is the Holiday Model Railroad Experience. The railroad experience is always a huge crowd draw, but it is only up for about 6 weeks a year. I’ve always been of the opinion that they should have a world-class permanent model train experience. Something that pays respect to the history of the structure, and is a year round attraction.
With the new Aquarium, and Lego Land coming to Crown Center right across the street it might be time for Union Station to consider doing just that. If Union Station does create a permanent model train exhibit, they might want to check out Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg.
Built in a 14,000 square foot space this is truly a state of the art model train experience that is pretty cool for kids of all ages, and lets face it even adults become kids at heart when they see something like this.
National Geographic just launched a really cool interactive experience entitled Mission Expedition. From today through April 9, people can log on to the site between the hours of 2pm and 2am Eastern time and line up to control the strategically placed state-of-the-art telepresence cameras attached to a moving model train.
The robotic camera train, travels on a track that snakes throughout the miniature sets, and will allow viewers to drive and participate in a photo safari searching for tiny hidden artifacts within each location. As you drive through the site you have a chance to take home a piece of history. Participants will have up to a minute to navigate through the set and take a picture of what they feel is the most valuable artifact they come across.
If the image you capture ends up being one of the hidden artifacts of the day, you will be notified and the artifact will be delivered from the Mission Expedition set directly to the your home. Nearly 200 of the featured miniature artifacts are stand-ins for life-sized item and total more than $10K in value.
This is a great use of technology, user participation, gaming mechanics, and user interaction. Kudos to Nat Geo!