This talk is part of a presentation given at the UAF Mobile Showcase 2013
As location-based services become more tightly integrated into our mobile devices we are able to make more immediate sense of our surroundings easily. This opens up a number of opportunities for education, the local community, and individual interest.
For many years augmented reality viewers have been available and have made it possible for us to see the nearest restaurants around us, wikipedia information about points of interest (POIs) near us, and even the names of nearby mountain peaks and constellations above us. AR certainly isn’t anything new. What is new is that there are an increasing number of tools to build your own AR resources, and they are becoming easier and easier to use.
Google Maps and Wikitude
Through the UA Google Tools we have access to Google Maps, which has recently released their collaborative maps feature. You are now able to build your own maps, using Google Map engine, marking POIs with information, HTML and images. A KML file is generated for each map you make, which can be used to populate a Wikitude world. I’ve outlined the steps for doing this in an earlier post. Google also has a tutorial for working with collaborative maps.
Building AR resources with these tools is free.
An example map of UAF (seen below) also has a corresponding AR world on Wikitude.
View University of Alaska Fairbanks Campus in a larger map
FeedGeorge and Layar
This is another set of tools that provides a relatively easy workflow for building AR resources. A WordPress blog is used to host the POIs. A plugin called FeedGeorge is used to build the POIs, which are then linked to a layer in Layar. There is a previous article that talks about this workflow in more depth.
There are two examples (below) using this workflow available to view on Layar. You can also view each project on the accompanying web sites, which contain information about the projects and POIs.
Fairbanks Paint the Pipes This is a site containing background information, and geotagged POIs for the Paint the Pipes project and works in conjunction with Layar to serve AR content. Viewers can use the layer information to access sponsor and artist information and to easily locate painted pipes in their immediate area.
Anchorage Planet Walk This site works in conjunction with Layar to serve information on POIs to viewers along the Anchorage Planet Walk. Walkers can use the layer as they are walking to see where upcoming points are located, and to quickly access more information on the web and watch videos about the particular planets.
MapsMarker and Wikitude
This is a similar solution to the Layar workflow mentioned above, only it uses a different plugin for WordPress called MapsMarker. The MapsMarker plugin has a number of features not available with FeedGeorge, and it generates an ARML file which imports into Wikitude. ARML is very easy to edit if you’re already familiar with HTML.