BACK TO THE CITY OF THE SUN

An Augmented Reality Project

Cahokia Mounds Museum Society (CMMS), the support group of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, is a recipient of a $250,000 Digital Projects for the public grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH). The grant will be used to develop an Augmented Reality application tour that can be viewed on smart phones and tablets from the top of the 10-story Monks Mound and at various waypoints along trails that wind through the 2,200-acre site.

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.

Phase 1, the tour of Monks Mound, is expected to be completed by the end of Summer 2020. Phase 2, a tour of the grounds, will be available by the end of Spring 2021.

How It Works

Camera View:

Augmented Reality Project View:

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