sábado, 1 de noviembre de 2014

New app will provide streetview for Bronze Age city life in Cyprus

A new smartphone app will offer a look at urban life more than 3,000 years ago revealing a vibrant Bronze Age city that once bustled with life on the island of Cyprus.
University of British Columbia (UBC) archaeologists working on the island are developing a new mobile application that lets users tour Bronze Age ruins and see reconstructed city buildings. Using your mobile device at the archaeological site will allow you to view a scene from the past through the screen and watch it come alive before your eyes using what is known as augmented reality.
“Augmented reality is a relatively new technology but it has the potential to revolutionise the way people experience archaeological sites,” says UBC researcher Kevin Fisher. “The experience allows the viewer to walk around an archaeological site and see what an ancient city might have looked like in its original context.”
Fisher, a professor in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies, has partnered with a group of engineers at UBC’s Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC), led by postdoctoral fellow Payam Rahmdel, developing the app for just one archaeological site but the project could be a stepping-stone for creating new tools for archaeologists and tourists.

Getting technical

The app, called KAD-AR, is among the first of its kind and Rahmdel says it stands out because it gives users an interactive experience using both visual and locational GPS based data.
“Many museums use augmented reality to give visitors extra experiences like watching a video interview about an artefact or seeing some pictures of where it was found,” says Rahmdel. “With our app, you’re moving inside a room that is in ruin, seeing it as it was and learning more about it. No other tools look at it this way.”

Back in the Bronze Age

From 1650 to 1100 BCE., Cyprus became an important centre of trade and supplier of copper, a resource in high demand as the primary metal required for bronze. This led to a powerful, elite class emerging and the city of Kalavasos-Ayios Dhimitrios being created, with housing, tombs and monumental buildings. “The design of the city aimed at showcasing the power of these elites,” says Fisher.
“Much of the work on the 3D model has been completed from photos and maps of the site from previous excavations,” says McLean. “This summer I had the opportunity to work on the site in Cyprus and obtain more specific photos and measurements. I want to create an accurate and compelling glimpse into the past.”

Source: Past Horizons: http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/10/2014/new-app-will-provide-streetview-for-bronze-age-city-life-in-cyprus

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