Ulster University contributes to 'virtual tourism' digital heritage project

  • Ulster University (UU) is “delighted” to be contributing to a project that aims to transform people’s experiences of outdoor heritage sites through technology.

    The €2 million Connected Culture and Natural Heritage in a Northern Environment (CINE) project wants to build on the idea of “museums without walls”.

    New digital interfaces such as augmented reality, virtual world (VR) technology and user-friendly apps will “bring the past alive and allows users to visualise the effects of the changing environment on heritage sites, helping us to imagine possible futures”, said a spokesperson from the university.

    In one such project, UU created an immersive VR experience that takes players into a historical reconstruction of a 15th-century church in Ireland.

    The project was titled the ‘Spirits of St Catherine’s’ and was a finalist in the recent 7th International Educational Games Competition in Denmark.

    UU's 'Spirit of St Catherine's' immersive VR experience

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    The collaborative digital heritage project is shared between 10 associated partners from Norway, Iceland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

    Ulster University stated that it particularly works closely with Donegal County Museum, raising awareness for the local landscape and its natural and cultural heritage, in order to protect and enable sustainable environmental management.

    The UU research team is represented by the School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems who have had a key role in the development and installation of Virtual Reality technologies on the Irish sites.

    One of the school’s research assistants, Niall McShane said that “CINE has three main project objectives; to protect, develop and promote natural and cultural heritage, to improve accessibility to valuable heritage information and also to strengthen identities of remote areas by knowledge transfer.”

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    On 5 November 2019, international research partners will travel to Ulster University’s Magee Campus to discuss the impact of the project in partnership with Donegal County Museum. A public event will take place on 7 November.

    To register for the event visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cine-presents-immersive-technology-for-sustainable-management-of-natural-cultural-heritage-tickets-74048136971.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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