Have you ever wanted to time travel? Discover what Philadelphia looked like in the past and compare it to the present landscape? At PhillyHistory.org, we’re working on a way to do just that. In 2010, the Department of Records received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities to investigate the possibility of developing a prototype augmented reality application for PhillyHistory.org. Augmented reality refers to the ability to view digital data on a view of the current world. Utilizing a combination of the GPS and camera technologies available on contemporary smart phones, this mobile phone application will enable users to view historic photographs from PhillyHistory.org as overlays on the current urban landscape.
The above photo is a mock-up of how those overlays might work. We’re still in the development stage so the final results may differ dramatically, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek of what’s in the works. For more information on the project, read our announcement at http://www.phila.gov/Records/Archives/pdfs/Grants_NEH_Augmented_Reality_April_2010.pdf.
You don’t need to wait months though for mobile access to PhillyHistory.org. The images are always available on your smartphone at http://phillyhistory.org/i/.