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Explore Cartagena’s Past: Immersive AR Application Unveiled

Introduction: AR in Cartagena: A Journey Through “Social Heritage”

Are you ready to dive into the future of heritage education? Cartagena, Colombia, a city renowned for its rich history and cultural heritage, has become the epicenter of an innovative leap into the future with the “Social Heritage” augmented reality (AR) application. This groundbreaking tool is not just an app; it’s a portal to the past, a bridge connecting the tangible with the intangible, and a new chapter in how we experience and learn about our world’s precious cultural legacies.


A Revolutionary Step in Heritage Education

The “Social Heritage” app, developed under a comprehensive framework for Heritage Education supported by Augmented Reality, is a testament to how technology can transform education. By blending the physical and digital worlds, this app allows users to explore 86 points of heritage interest in Cartagena’s historic center like never before. Imagine pointing your device at an ancient fortress and seeing its history come alive, or walking through the city’s cobblestone streets with a virtual guide narrating the tales of yore. This isn’t just learning; it’s an immersive experience that captivates and educates simultaneously.


For Whom Is This Marvel Created?

Targeting both curious visitors and dedicated heritage managers, “Social Heritage” caters to a wide audience with varying interests and expertise levels. Visitors embark on a journey through time, engaging with stories and visuals that bring history to life. In contrast, heritage managers find a valuable tool in validating and enriching the content, ensuring each point of interest is not just seen but truly understood and appreciated.


Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Virtual Time Machine

The creation of “Social Heritage” was no small feat. A team of passionate professionals, including students, educators, and technical wizards, came together to craft an app that’s as informative as it is engaging. Utilizing JAVA and the Eclipse IDE alongside Google Play Services and the Metaio SDK, the team constructed an AR experience that’s both seamless and accessible. The result? An application that not only maps out heritage sites but also enriches them with layers of historical context and interactive learning opportunities.


Validation Through Real Experiences

The real test of “Social Heritage” came through its validation study, involving students and random visitors in Cartagena. The aim was to gauge whether this AR experience could truly enhance the heritage education process. Utilizing the ARCS model, which focuses on Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction, the study revealed a resounding success. Participants reported increased motivation and engagement with the heritage education process, proving that AR technology is not just a gimmick but a powerful tool for learning and exploration.


The Future of Heritage Education

As we look to the future, “Social Heritage” stands as a beacon of potential for cities worldwide. Its success in Cartagena showcases the untapped possibilities of AR in making heritage education more interactive, accessible, and engaging. The next step? Expanding this innovative approach to other cities, bringing the magic of AR to global audiences and transforming how we connect with our cultural heritage.


Conclusion: A New Horizon for Cultural Exploration

The “Social Heritage” app represents a significant leap forward in the intersection of technology and heritage education. For professionals in the cultural and heritage sectors, it offers a glimpse into the future of engagement, providing a model for how technology can be harnessed to deepen our connection with the past. As we continue to explore and refine these digital tools, the possibilities for learning, exploration, and connection are endless. Cartagena’s journey through augmented reality is just the beginning.


For further reading and a deeper understanding, refer to the paper: Mendoza-Garrido, Raynel & Cabarcas, Amaury & Puello-Beltran, Juan & Fabregat, Ramón & Baldiris-Navarro, Silvia. (2020). Heritage education experience supported in augmented reality. Revista Facultad de Ingeniería Universidad de Antioquia.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341813693_Heritage_education_experience_supported_in_augmented_reality

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