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Coverage for grant HD-50995-10

Historic Overlays on Smart Phones
Joan Decker, City of Philadelphia, Department of Records

Grant details:

The Philadelphia Department of Records and Azavea Release White Paper on Augmented Reality Technology Research Along with AR App for Historical Photos (Media Coverage)
Date: 5/17/2011
Abstract: The Philadelphia Department of Records (DOR) and Azavea announced the publication of a free white paper that summarizes their research on the use of mobile augmented reality techniques for enhancing digital access to historical and cultural resources. This paper accompanies the release of a prototype augmented reality application for (, the online database of historic photograph and map collections from the City Archives, the Water Department, the Office of the City Representative, the Free Library, and the Library Company of Philadelphia, originally built by Azavea. The app is available at no cost for both iPhone and Android smart phones.

When the Future Meets the Past: Using Augmented Reality in Cultural Institutions (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Deborah Boyer
Publication: CrossTies
Date: 9/10/2011
Abstract: Using technology to provide access to the collections held by cultural institutions is nothing new. Using augmented reality, a technology often equated with science fiction movies, to provide that access, however, is much newer. But how does augmented reality actually work? What are the benefits and challenges of developing an AR project? Can this technology be used effectively in cultural institutions?

Discover Philadelphia's Past on Top of Its Present with PhillyHistory AR (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Adriane Goetz
Publication: Layar Blog
Date: 5/20/2011
Abstract: The newest historical addition to the Layar platform, PhillyHistory, uses Augmented Reality to merge Philadelphia’s past with present. Using content from the Philadelphia Department of Records’ online database (, you can access nearly 90,000 historic images of the city, 500 of which are pinned to the current landscape in virtually their exact location in AR. Of those 500 images, 20 also contain additional information about the places in the photos created by the editors of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia as well as local scholars.

Transmedia Futures: Situated Documentary via Augmented Reality (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Gary Hayes
Publication: Personalize Media
Date: 7/20/2011
Abstract: Creating a historical record of your locale using this method is really the first step for many, although still tricky, mapping images in a perspectively correct way to modern buildings and places allows an immediate connection for the user to ‘change’, how the world around them is connected to the past. Seeing people walking past a brand new (back then) building a hundred years ago directly in front of you, and imagining what they were thinking, what there lives were like, the stories they left behind is a humbling experience.

Augmented Reality by and Azavea Launches on iPhone, Android (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Dan Newman
Publication: Technically Philly
Date: 6/8/2011
Abstract: In February 2010, the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities awarded the Philadelphia Department of Records a Digital Humanities Startup grant to investigate the use of augmented reality applications for mobile devices. The prototype application, AR by, is available for free download on iPhone and Android. It allows users to view historic photographs as 3D digital information overlaid atop their current location using the camera, GPS and many other sensors that came stock with nearly all consumer smartphones.

Philly’s High Tech Augmented Reality App (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Vince Lattanzio
Publication: NBC 10
Date: 7/23/2011
Abstract: A new app by the folks over at Philly History can show mobile users what the City of Brotherly Love looked like in the past in augmented reality.