November 29, 2018
App brings Waimangu history to life
The new tribal owners of a Rotorua area thermal attraction have turned to technology to show visitors not just what is before their eyes but what used to be there.
A partnership of Tūhourangi, Ngāti Rangitihi and Te Puia – New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute bought the Waimangu Volcanic Valley just over a year ago.
Tūhourangi Tribal Authority chair Alan Skipwith says they commissioned former Weta Workshop staffer Leon Thomas to develop an augmented reality app.
Old photos and paintings, survey data and the latest scientific papers were used to allow people to see what used to be in the landscape.
That includes the Pink and White Terraces which were lost in the 1886 eruption on Mount Tarawera, and the Waimangu Geyser which sent up a column of hot water higher than the Skytower.
"As you travel down the valley there are a number of geo-reference situations where the phone sends you a signal, there is something else here, and you can see the valley as it was soon after the eruption," Mr Skipwith says.
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