The project will enable visitors to “see” structures – once visible in the pre-Columbian city – superimposed on the present landscape. To activate the AR components, a hand held device is used to scan visual markers placed in strategic spots. The technology calculates the orientation of a marker to position and stabilize 3D models upon the real world environment. Two of the Monks Mound initiatives are a reconstructed panoramic view of the entire Ceremonial Center and a sacred temple displayed approximately 50 feet from the viewer.
On-screen icons will provide access to multiple media components with each AR experience. These include informational videos, interviews with experts, as well as 3D images of artifacts found at specific locations. A new educational website will provide additional information and resources.
Schwartz & Associates Creative (SAC), St. Louis, is the Media Producer. The company has been collaborating with the CMMS to find ways to use new technologies to transform the outdoor learning experience. SAC has created a number of technology products for the CMMS, two of which won MUSE awards at the American Alliance of Museum’s Annual Conference in 2009 and 2012.
Once the prototype is completed, the CMMS is eligible for a $300,000 NEH Production grant that will be used to add augmented reality stops throughout the historic site. It is expected that all components will ready for release by the end of 2021.