The genesis of Skateparktour.ca happened in the spring of 2006 when a virtual tour of the Shaw Millennium Skatepark in Calgary was created with Apple’s QuickTimeVR to serve as a promotional sample for a new VR our business. A summer trip to BC to visit relatives saw photos of about 30 additional skateparks taken and the realization that there were skateparks in places that were hard to find and that an online directory might be popular. The first version of Skateparktour.ca went live on August 20, 2016 and it has been in constant evolution ever since.
Holiday travels took on the additional purpose of taking skatepark photos, and over time more and more skateparks were added using QuicktimeVR. Visitors liked being able to use the VR tours to look around a skatepark to see if they wanted to plan a session there.
Like the Model T, technology left QuicktimeVR behind and it became unsupported to Skateparktour.ca started switching over to slideshows to replace the tours. The site kept growing, past 100 skateparks, then past 200, almost all with photos taken by one photographer.
In the past couple of years, a number of people in other parts of Canada volunteered to take photos of skateparks in communities that Skateparktour.ca has not visited yet. Thanks to these contributors, skateparks in Manitoba and Ontario, and in more distant places in Alberta and BC were added.
In 2017 virtual tours returned to Skateparktour.ca using spherical photos and VR software to create a good quality immersive VR experience. Now to get back to all of the skateparks and take spherical photos to replace the slideshows!
The journey of Skateparktour.ca also mirrors trends in web development technology. At first, the site was created in Adobe Go-Live, an early WYSIWYG editor, then it moved to Dreamweaver. There are 4 distinct generations of pages created using these editors before the version previous to this one which was created using the Joomla content management system. in 2018 the latest generation of Skateparktour.ca launched using the WordPress Content Management System to make the site more easily usable, and effective on mobile devices.
Through the years Skateparktour.ca has been consistent on a couple of points:
- Skateparks are great places for people of all ages to have fun, be active, and seek progression in their skills riding whatever they enjoy.
- More skateparks are needed everywhere, and when they are built, they are well used and they give municipalities outstanding value for the tax money spent on them.
Thank you for your interest in skateparktour.ca and hopefully, you will be able to session many skateparks that you find using the site!