I’ve mentioned in the previous post that I’ve recently discovered a couple of fantastic apps. In the previous post, I’ve also spoken of Aurasma, an AR application for linking multimedia content to a static image. In this post, I’m looking at a second AR software: Wikitude. This software has also won many prizes as the best Augmented Reality Browser.
In this case, it is a location-based Augmented Reality application: first of all the app analyses the user’s position (which is calculated either by GPS or Wifi), the direction the user is facing (determined by the compass), and the user’s movements (thanks to the accelerometer). Given these data, the user will be able to see on his smartphone screen enhanced content specific for his location. Pointing the camera on the surroundings, the user will be able to see tags, comments, notes, links of the features of the landscape he’s facing.
In other words, it seems like a map fully tagged and annotated, only that we are not looking at a real map from above, but just observing the space around us. The content is mainly user-generated, but the platform has been used also by some games developers, so that you can play with AR content generated in the space around you.
I have discovered this app thanks to a presentation on the work of the University of Siena and Archèotipo: they have used it to enhance visitors’ experience and understanding of the archaeological site of Miranduolo, as you can see in this video (it is the same I mentioned in the post about Aurasma).
Another archaeological site that has used Wikitude is the Archaeological Park of Carnuntum (Austria): here it has been used to reconstruct the Gladiators School recently found (September 2011), with this amazing
results. By the way, this other video showcases another beautiful virtual reconstruction of the Gladiators School.
In conclusion, I’ve seen various examples of this app used to create touristic routes, but far more less examples of its utilisation in archaeology. I’ve blogged elsewhere some interesting projects which use geotools, and especially the case of the Digitale Tråde app seems to have a similar background. Though I haven’t found any museum using Wikitude: do you know any project about that?