By Wasim Muklashy
As a co-founder of Superswell® VR and producer of virtual reality and 360˚ video, I’m am completely and continually fascinated by the various applications of how this technology can be used. While we’ve been using this for a lot of travel content, I was recently asked by AJ+, a very popular millennial news source, if I had any interest in heading out to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to cover the Dakota Access Pipeline situations.
360˚ video for journalism? I couldn't refuse.
If you’re not familiar with what's happening at Standing Rock, just Google “NoDAPL” or “Dakota Access” or “Standing Rock.” There’s no shortage of information.
In a nutshell, a pipeline that is set to carry oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota through four states to Illinois is meeting resistance at a crucial juncture where it is set to cross the Missouri River. The pipeline was originally routed to cross the Missouri River about 35 miles north near Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, but, and this part is crucial to note, residents feared it could threaten their water, so it got re-routed here … in Cannonball, North Dakota, on disputed Native American land less than a half mile upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where it immediately threatens not only the water supply of the Lakota Indians on this reservation, but also up to 17 million American residents downstream.
Additionally, the route of the pipeline has already destroyed sacred Native American sites and burial grounds, and is currently routed to destroy even more.
Anyhow, the story has been gaining more and more international attention, and this experienced ended up being one of the most profound of my life.