Here on the Layar blog we have featured many layers that help us peer into the past with photographs and historical information. Augmented Reality has enormous educational potential both in and out the classroom, and one layer is helping visitors of old battlefields to envision history.
The layer “Battle of Franklin Sites” shows Layar users POIs associated with the historic American Civil War battle in Franklin, Tennessee. These include historic buildings, military cemeteries, medical facilities, locations of notable deaths, and even models of the front battle lines. Some practical tourist information, such as the location of nearby public restrooms, is also included.
Tourism officials in Franklin are hoping that using emerging mobile technology like Augmented Reality will help attract and engage visitors as the 150th anniversary of the war approaches in 2014. Why visit an old battlefield only to stand around and imagine what happened where? With this layer, visitors can use their mobile phones to see exactly where the battle lines were drawn.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the only project using Augmented Reality in conjunction with the history of the American Civil War. The Civil War Augmented Reality Project is an effort by teachers in Pennsylvania to use the technology to enhance student experiences at historic Civil War sites. Along with mobile applications, the group hopes to install stationary “pay binoculars” which they hope will attract less technical visitors to engage with Augmented Reality.
These historical sites are prime targets just waiting to be enhanced by great Augmented Reality experiences. Soon, gone will be the days of tour guides saying, “A long time ago, important evens transpired right here on this ground.” Instead they will allow the visitors to see for themselves with Augmented Reality.