UC designs world’s first heritage gold mining site app

Published: Tue 30 Jul 2013 09:31 AM
UC designs world’s first heritage gold mining site app
July 30, 2013
The University of Canterbury (UC) has designed the world’s first heritage gold mining heritage site app.
The app, to be released to the market later this year for the Central Otago goldfields site at the Bendigo Historic Reserve, is a follow up to the CityView augmented reality (AR) app for Christchurch produced by UC’s HIT Lab New Zealand.
UC history researcher Dr Lloyd Carpenter says experts involved in heritage interpretation in California and Victoria confirm the UC goldmine app is a world first.
``My academic friends in Australia are green with envy. We cannot underestimate the innovation that this represents.
``It’s exciting that Central Otago's gold mining history has been dragged into the 21st century with the development of this app.’’
Dr Carpenter launched the project last year as part of his thesis on the history of the Central Otago goldfields and is developing the story, content and all historic materials.
HIT Lab NZ’s researcher Dr Gun Lee says the software is based on the CityViewAR app for Christchurch released in December 2011. The CityViewAR app allows people to point a phone at an empty plot of land to show a virtual copy of the building that was on the site before the earthquakes.
The gold mining app will be focused on existing archaeology, heritage and historic stories. The CityViewAR app focused on Christchurch buildings. The app project was largely funded by Otago’s Central Lakes Trust.
A special launch of the app will be held later this year in collaboration with the trust and the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust, which Dr Carpenter brought in as project partners.
Once the app is functional for Bendigo, further protocols will be designed for other nearby gold mining sites. This will provide the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust with an asset which they can market to similar heritage areas, and to work together with HIT Lab NZ.
The HIT Lab NZ director Professor Mark Billinghurst received the 2013 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Virtual Reality Technical Achievement award for his work in advancing the field of augmented reality.
He has been one of the world’s leading researchers in augmented reality which is an important emerging digital technology. AR allows computer graphics to be inserted into a view of the real world and creates the illusion of virtual content becoming part of the user’s real environment.

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