TheWonderExpedition.com Giving Honor To Archeologist Hiram Bingham’s 1912 Expedition

DALLAS: TheWondersExpedition.com Thursday announced it has launched a 34-day campaign on the crowd source funding website, Kickstarter.com, to raise at least $57,766 to fund a mid-2012 expedition to Peru’s ancient Inca city, Machu Picchu, in the heart of the Andes mountains and gather HD video, hi-res photographs and other materials needed to make the first published book in iTunes for the iPad.

The campaign’s URL is: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thewondersexpedition/the-machu-picchu-hd-interactive-book-for-ipad

Organizers also point out that their efforts mirror those of American Archeologist Hiram Bingham, who in 1912 raised $20,000 from Yale University and the National Geographic Society to fund a return trip to the area after “re-discovering” it in 1911.  Machu Picchu was built around 1450 AD and was later abandoned.  It often is regarded as the most significant ruin found in South America and has been classified as one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.”

“Exactly 100 years later, we are raising funds for an expedition to commemorate the historic work of Hiram Bingham and to use today’s technology to produce the most extensive Interactive Book for the iPad on Machu Picchu,” said The Wonders Expedition CEO & Founder, Donald Claxton of Dallas.  “We are going to capture the same spirit of discovery and make it available to everyone.”

Interactive books for the iPad include interactive 3-D animations, photo galleries and images.  They allow a reader to tap and display HD videos, high-res 360° photos, interactive charts and graphs, and highlight and take notes all within the one book.  Claxton the organization also will be adding a virtual tour capability within the Machu Picchu book using the latest developments in HTML 5, XML and CSS3.

“Interactive books are the latest development in technology in the book publishing world and far exceed the capabilities of typical printed books and even the capabilities of those presently being released for Kindle and Nook in e-Pub formats,” Claxton said.

Through The Wonders Expedition’s Interactive book, users will be able to see 360° HD video and photography, while also hearing the sounds of the raging Uruamaba River and enjoying the views from Machu Picchu and Huayana Picchu, the iconic mountain seen in the background of the historic site.

Because of the 2012 developments in interactive software, readers also will be able to see how ancient Machu Picchu residents covered the roofs of their house, demonstrate their exquisite stonework and the high-tech engineering they used to lock the door to their city and its clan groups.

Claxton said that through Kickstarter.com his organization has a great chance to raise the funds necessary to support such an innovative project that also gives those who contribute an extraordinary opportunity to interact with the development of the book.

“Usually in the start up world there are incredible challenges to find angel investors and venture capitalists who typically want a chunk of a developing company that no one really understands the value of and it can be a painful process that’s certainly not for the faint of heart,” Claxton said.  “Because we are offering incentives and rewards to those who are willing to be a part of our historic project, we feel like we have a better chance at using this new and innovative way to raise the funds we need to get a solid project under our belt and prove that we have a viable concept.

“There’s not a doubt in my mind that if Kickstarter.com had been around in 1912, Hiram Bingham would have been talking to them just as much as he was talking to Yale and NatGeo,” Claxton said.  “I cannot tell you the excitement there exists in following in his footsteps 100 years later armed with 100 years of technological advancement.  It is going to help us tell the story he could only dream about in 1912.”

Claxton said his organization also is working to release in June the Interactive Book version of Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, which was announced earlier in March.  A book also is underway for the Chaco Canyon North American Indian tribes.  Other sites on the storyboard include The Colosseum in Rome, Stonehenge in England, The Great Wall of China in Asia, and the Pyramids of Giza to name a few.

An “all-or-nothing” funding project, Claxton says that upon receipt of the funds from the Kickstarter.com project, the group plans to send a team to Peru in June or July of 2012 and have the book ready for public release in October.

Those interested in contributing to the project can go to Kickstarter’s page for TheWondersExpedition.com, determine their funding-level interest and then make a pledge.

The Wonders Expedition™

Founded by Dallas public relations veteran, Donald Claxton, The Wonders Expedition™ is designed to explore and unlock the mysteries of the world via virtual and real-life experiences to the most historically significant places on Earth.  Through its Website and interactive books, the organization seeks to transport anyone at any age to historic sites they may never physically visit and give them such a vivid experience, they’ll feel like they were there, and hopefully, be inspired to go back in person.  Because of its focus as an early-adopter of technologies, TWE hopes to encourage students of all ages to study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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