April Meeting: Using AR technology to preserve History

by PJ Cignarella on April 4, 2019

in Uncategorized

John Amakowa AR game_BPM_____3

Join us on Tuesday, April 9th at 7 pm in Intrepid Labs, in The American Twine Building (222 Third St. Cambridge, MA 02141 4th floor) for our next Boston Post Mortem meeting:

Talk Summary

 This month Jon Amakawa, Assistant Professor in the Game Design Major at Fitchburg State University and Educational Media Designer, discusses his work in creating Augmented Reality (AR) mobile apps for the United States National Park Service and other historical landmarks. Jon will focus on the use of AR in order to interpret historical sites with little remaining for visitors to see, the impact of AR on interpreting landmarks associated with historically disadvantaged communities and the process for visually recreating historical places.

 Designer Biography

 Jon Amakawa specializes in creating interpretive historical exhibits and Augmented Reality mobile apps. He has extensive experience in presenting historical landmarks relating to the Underground Railroad, Slavery, and Freedom seekers in American history and has worked closely with the United States National Park Service’s Network to Freedom Program. His mobile apps are some of the first to use Augmented Reality technology to interpret US National Park Service sites.

Jon’s work has become particularly applicable for cultural heritage sites that have been challenging to interpret and where little visibly remains for the public to see. He has been invited to present at the Organization of American Historians Conference and co-authored the article New Philadelphia – Using Augmented Reality to Interpret Slavery and Reconstruction Era Historical Sites with Swedish researcher Dr. Jonathan Westin, at Gothenburg University, for the International Journal of Heritage Studies.

In addition to the US National Park Service, Jon’s clients have included the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Smithsonian affiliated Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA. From Slavery to Freedom, a permanent exhibit at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA, for which he developed touch screen virtual reality kiosks has won awards including the “American Association for State and Local History, Leadership in History Award for 2013; African Diaspora World Tourism Award, Cultural Exhibit Flame Keeper for From Slavery to Freedom, for Dedicated Service in Cultural Heritage Tourism, 2013; the PA Museums Presidents and S.K. Stevens Awards for 2014.”


Tuesday, April 9th
7:00pm @ Intrepid Labs
American Twine Building
222 Third Street, #4000
Cambridge, MA

There are two entrances to the American Twine Building- one is closer to second street around the side of the building, this is the entrance you want! Take elevators up to the 4th floor and that entire floor is Intrepid. After 6pm security may ask you to sign in, but no ID is required.

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