The Great Civil War Augmented Reality Project

Augmented Reality is the best way to experience history.

My dream is to have a “time machine slider” that allows me, in any given location, to see how things looked at a certain point in history. My field of view would be overlaid (with perfect registration;) using old maps, drawings, old photos, recreations in the form of documentaries, or even big hollywood productions.

It could get really interesting when I slide the time machine slider forward to see how a certain city might look in the future.


Some folks are already trying to make this happen today. Just in time for the 4th of July. Checkout this fascinating initiative by a group of educators in Pennsylvania:

Our project, the Civil War Augmented Reality Project, is intended to
enhance the experiences of people visiting Civil War sites. It is also
intended to increase attendance and revenue for historic sites by
offering both “high” and “low” tech experiences to best reach the
majority of the population.
We feel that our project is fulfilling a need that educators, park
workers, technology enthusiasts, and Civil War enthusiasts have
discussed in the past: How can historic sites both raise educational
value and public interest in their institutions though technology,
while not alienating the non-technical history fans?
We have worked hard on the answer, and are interested in promoting our
creative solutions.
We would like to make clear that the project is not intended solely
for Pennsylvania. It is our hope that the project will expand to other
venues, as we feel that we have the ability to use our ideas to
enhance the experiences of all students at historic sites.
How is this going to work technically?
Jeff responds they’ll start by using Layar as the platform for the AR apps, and
they’ll probably use Google Earth in the binoculars installations. The
binocular installations will be self fabricated, and the AR
applications will be available to the public and of course an integral
part of the tablets they’ll be adapting for use.
The approach for funding this project is also interesting: micro-funding using Kickstarter.
I am looking forward to seeing more visuals about how this will look, but in the meantime, check out these articles and posts, and even a Facebook page.

The initiative is driven by 3 visionaries:

Jeff Mummert- Hershey High School and York College of Pennsylvania
Art Titzel- Hershey Middle School
Jay Vasellas- Red Lion Area High School and York College of Pennsylvania
Good luck guys! Will be looking for more content.

2 Responses

  1. […] the Present: American History in the Academic and Public Realms blog by Michael Lynch and also at Games Alfresco, which was hailed as “The leading Augmented Reality news blog” by the New York […]

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