Augmenting UNESCO Heritage with The Washington Post

Augmenting UNESCO Heritage with The Washington Post

The Washington Post has published yet another successful AR-enhanced story. This time the Post’s article is promoting all 23 of the UNESCO World Heritage sites situated in the USA. As an incentive to get readers to learn about, appreciate, and visit these locations, the daily newspaper included an AR feature to get users even more involved with the story.

THE CONTEXT

The Washington Post published an article entitled “World-class heritage, here in the U.S.” which features all of the 23 breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage sites located in the United States of America.

THE GOAL

  • Engage readers through innovative storytelling

The story has integrated two unique augmented reality experiences to further engage their readers.

THE SOLUTION

  • AR embedded in The Washington Post Classic app

AR app: Washington Post app [ Google PlayApp Store]

After downloading and opening The Washington Post Classic app for iOS or Android users can scroll right on the horizontal navigation bar to select the Augmented Reality tab. Among the list of AR-enhanced stories, users will find two AR experiences related to the UNESCO sites: MONTICELLO and YELLOWSTONE.

THE YELLOWSTONE AR EXPERIENCE: Included for its natural importance, this AR experience places a real-size bison in the user’s surrounding environment. While walking around the augmented bison (possibly in the middle of your living room floor) an audio track takes readers through the prairies of the Yellowstone National Park and explains the main facts of this species.

THE MONTICELLO AR EXPERIENCE: Included for its historical and cultural importance, this AR experience allows users to bring items from Thomas Jefferson’s study into their own home. The 3D augmentations are virtual representations of some of the objects kept in the museum. Digitally place the Telescope, the Polygraph, the Globe, and the Revolving Stand on the floor and walk around it while listening to an audio track explaining the peculiarities of each object used by the third US president.

Click here to see the step-by-step instructions that were provided for using augmented reality with The Post.

The Washington Post Classic app uses augmented reality technology provided by the Wikitude SDK to make the AR experiences come to life. After the success of previous AR-enhanced articles such as the Art and Architecture Series and the Speediest Winter Olympic sports, this is another great example of how augmented reality can be used as a great complement to an editorial piece.

THE AR APP DEVELOPER

One Big Robot is a digital creative agency working on social good. They believe that creativity can change society and they use data visualization, infography and maps to tell compelling stories. The Washington Post commissioned the agency to do the integrated Augmented Reality experience, who chose two very different sites, one for its historical importance and the other one for its natural capital.

THE AR TECHNOLOGY

Instant Tracking makes it possible for AR applications to overlay interactive digital augmentations on physical surfaces without using a marker. Wikitude offers its own SLAM Instant Tracking technology that can be dynamically connected to ARKit and ARCore (Wikitude SMART). Instant Tracking is the ideal AR feature for product preview, design visualization, gaming, communication, etc.

Why Wikitude ?

Augmented reality helps us tell some of The Post’s most immersive and compelling stories. We can inject elements of a story into the world around you by utilizing the camera on your smartphone, which allows The Post to bring you to great travel destinations, transform your space into architectural marvels – or even help you carve pumpkins.

 

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