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Waikato Times Article

Waikato Times Article

Te Awamutu Online's Virtual Town featured in an article in today's Waikato Times (page 9).

Below is the online version of the story, which appeared at www.stuff.co.nz

      N E W S   S T O R Y   
VIRTUAL VISITOR: Dave Owen in Te Awamutu, the town he has put on the virtual map.
Visitors a click away
27 July 2002

Always wanted to visit Te Awamutu but never been able to find the time?

Well stop fretting because Dave Owen has solved your problem.

Just log on to www.teawamutu.co.nz, click on the Virtual Te Awamutu Homepage link and away you go, off to Rose Town from the comfort of your own keyboard.

Within seconds you can be virtually standing on the roundabout at the end of Alexandra St.

Move the mouse and there's a panoramic view of the entire town centre. Click on any street in view and you're there in an instant.

By using the on-screen arrows, it's possible to navigate your way around every street in the town.

Mr Owen, 36, and born and bred in Te Awamutu, said the site started as a hobby, "basically to see if it could be done".

It has taken him two years to build the site in spare time from his work at Wavelength Media, the multimedia company he and his brother Richard have been running for more than 10 years.

Last week the company won a certificate of commendation in the innovation section of the Waipa Business Awards for its work. "It's a community project rather than a commercial venture," he said.

The site features more than 400 photographs with every street in the town featuring at least once.

There are also photographs of many buildings and sites of interest in the town and text explanations of their significance.

"One of the frustrating things is that by the time you work your way from one side of town to the other, it's all changed, they've knocked buildings down."

"It's a struggle to keep it constantly updated," he said.

"I'm quite passionate about it, it's a great town and it's nice to have something like this for a small town like Te Awamutu."

Future updated versions of the website would have sound and video and Mr Owen said he was working toward having more panoramic capabilities.

Notes from the team at Te Awamutu Online:

  • The website was actually made by Dave Owen, Richard Owen, Ange Holt and many other people who have contributed in many ways.
  • The Virtual Town took around two years to create, the website has been under constant construction for over three years.