Today the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) launches the Visible City, a virtual exhibition of Vancouver's neon history, and in doing so becomes the first cultural institution in North America to have taken augmented reality technology to the streets.
The Visible City is a free app and virtual exhibition that enables users to discover the rise, fall and revival of neon in Vancouver. The app provides walking tours of Vancouver's most colorful neighborhoods and users can actively contribute to the history of 57 of Vancouver's neon signs by uploading their own stories, sharing them with others and voting on their favorite signs and places.
"At the MOV, we consider the entire city our artifact, and the Visible City is one of those ways we can take history beyond the walls of the Museum," explains Hanna Cho, MOV Curator of Engagement & Dialogue. "The app is like taking a piece of Vancouver's history around with you in your pocket - but it's a piece of history that you can actively contribute to."
Users can explore two digitally guided walking tours through Vancouver's cultural heart (Granville Street) and the city's original downtown hub (Chinatown and Hastings Street). By holding their cameras up to the present day scene, they can see the same Vancouver location appear as it did in the 1950s, 60s or 70s. Users can then listen to over 40 pre-curated stories on audio and video told by celebrated Vancouverites like Dal Richards (big band musician), Joe Keithley (of DOA), Judy Graves (City of Vancouver advocate for the homeless) and more.
The Visible City is free to download and is available via the iTunes App Store and Google Play. The Visible City gratefully acknowledges the funding support of the Canadian Heritage Information Network.
Features of The Visible City app include:
* Explore Two Neon Walking Tours:
Both 30 minute tours digitally guide you through Vancouver's most colorful neighborhoods - from the city's entertainment district to its most infamous neon corridors.
* Interact With History:
Immerse yourself in the stories behind the lights using augmented reality features. Hold your camera up to the present day scene and see the same Vancouver location appear as it did in the 1950s, 60s or 70s. Explore text, audio and video interviews with celebrated Vancouverites.
* Share Your Neon Stories:
Add your own stories and share them with others, while voting for your favorite signs and places. Check in at five locations and receive 2 for 1 admission to the Museum of Vancouver (MOV).
The Visible City 1.0.2 is currently available worldwide through the iTunes App Store (in the Education category) and Google Play (in the Travel & Local category) for free.
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