Internet users will soon have the opportunity to explore the historic monuments and hidden gems of the old town of Corfu through a new augmented reality (AR) tourism guide.
A UNESCO world heritage site, the old town of Corfu has its roots in the 8th century BC. The three forts of the town, designed by renowned Venetian engineers, were used for four centuries to defend the maritime trading interests of Venice against the Ottoman Empire. In the course of time, the forts were repaired and partly rebuilt several times, more recently under British rule in the 19th century*.
Created by the Interactive Arts Lab (INARTS) of the Ionian University and the Corfu Ephorate of Antiquities, the new AR tourism guide is expected to offer valuable information and high-quality audiovisual material for over 80 points of interest.
According to Ioannis Deliyannis, assistant professor at the department of audio and visual arts of the Ionian University, the AR guide combines narration with new technology tools including the projection of content through holographic pyramids.
The guide “is using the geographic information system and a 360-degree video overview of the monument… The connection of points through thematic routes and the extensive accessibility options allow users to explore hidden aspects and identify the elements that compose the UNESCO monument of the old town of Corfu – even those (elements) that cannot be seen by travelers on-site,” he said.
The AR tourism guide aims to cover the needs of specific groups and organizations including tour guides, hotels and tourism enterprises, as well as bodies responsible for the monument’s preservation.
In efforts to preserve and promote the cultural monuments of Corfu, the innovative app will be available for free for the next 10 years.
The project is funded by the European Union through the “Ionian Islands 2014- 2020” operational program.
*Source: UNESCO World Heritage Center