The Civil War Augmented Reality Project was conceived by several public educators with technology experience and a desire to offer more interactivity to students and the general public visiting historic sites. The objective of the project is to develop and implement augmented reality services related to the American Civil War in Pennsylvania, and to modify soon to be released tablet personal computers to allow the general public a chance to experience the applications. The project’s inception is planned to give ample development time in the run up to the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, beginning in 2011. It is hoped that early support could generate interest in Maryland and Virginia. We also propose to construct stationary devices patterned after the “pay binoculars” often found at scenic overlooks. These devices will offer a virtual geographic view from a few hundred yards above the user. Physically swiveling the viewer left and right changes the direction of the view in real time, just as swiveling up and down changes the view. The intuitive nature of the device is intended to invite “non-tech oriented” persons to try the experience, and learn more about AR and the Civil War. We propose that these binoculars be set up at locations across the region touched by fighting in the war. In order to give the user a sense of the historical connections between each location, a nearby screen will project realtime webcam images of people using the devices at other locations.

Our Team:

Jeff Mummert (Hershey High School, York College of Pennsylvania)
Superpowers- technology, fabrication (building things, not being dishonest), design, x-ray vision.

Art Titzel (Hershey Middle School)
Superpowers- education technology, blogs, video, Civil War history, superhuman strength

Jay Vasellas (Red Lion High School, York College of Pennsylvania)
Superpowers- historical research, AP US history, mind melding.


2 Responses to “About”

  1. Mike July 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Good luck with your project. I think it is a good match for Civil War sites and should be appreciated by visitors.

    I visited Virginia a few years ago. One of the stops was Jamestown. The exhibit there included an outdoor augmented reality viewer, similar to the very large binocular type. There was also a flat screen so that handicapped or small groups (families) could see the view that the person operating the viewer could see. They used it with an audio program to indicate where various buildings and events took place on the present day terrain. They suspended the unit from a small covered pavilion type roof. This helped to cut glare, keep off harsh weather, and provide a sturdy mounting place.

  2. Dick Davies July 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Great idea! See how we have done it using in-situ triggered video, audio and AR for a 1000 or so years before your Civil War at Iron Age sites in the UK at:


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