The Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITLab) of the University of Canterbury, New Zealand recently shook things up with an Augmented Reality project sponsored by Vodafone New Zealand that would restore both past and future to the quake-ridden city of Christchurch, NZ.
The app is called CityViewAR, and was released back in December for Android. The app uses sensor data to visualize digital information attached to GPS coordinates and overlay it accordingly in the camera view. In this case, HITLab is visualizing 3-D models of structures and buildings around the Christchurch area that were damaged in the quakes, or otherwise scheduled for demolition.
A very familiar GPS camera environment allows users to view the surrounding quake-affected area and overlay 3-D versions of the structures that not only used to be there, but may be there in the near future. HITLab also sees this app as the groundwork for a disaster-response system that would allow for quick information sharing.
From the CityViewAR project site:
“Future work on the app will allow users to add their own feedback on the buildings shown, so architects and urban planners can use the tool to get input from people about their proposed designs. Additional histroical data could be included to allow people to go back in time and see what used to be at locations 50 or 100 years ago. It is also anticipated that the system could be connected to more traditional GIS viewing software, to enable other data sets to be shown, such as utility information. Ongoing research could lead to a mobile AR platform that could be quickly deployed in response to a natural disaster and provide invaluable on-site information.”