UOG Launches 'Bisita: Historic Guam' App, Offering Immersive 1890s Hagåtña Experience

The University of Guam's Micronesian Area Research Center launches a free mobile app, "Bisita: Historic Guam", offering an immersive experience of Hagåtña in the 1890s using enhanced reality technology. The app digitally reconstructs the city's architectural landscape, including iconic landmarks, and is available for download on Android and iOS devices.

author-image
Aqsa Younas Rana
New Update
UOG Launches 'Bisita: Historic Guam' App, Offering Immersive 1890s Hagåtña Experience

UOG Launches 'Bisita: Historic Guam' App, Offering Immersive 1890s Hagåtña Experience

The University of Guam's Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC) has launched a free mobile app, 'Bisita: Historic Guam,' which offers users an immersive experience of Hagåtña as it existed in the 1890s. Developed by Dr. Carlos Madrid, director of research and professor of Spanish Pacific History at MARC, the app utilizes enhanced reality technology to digitally reconstruct the city's architectural landscape, including iconic landmarks such as the Tollai Åcho' (San Antonio Bridge), the Plaza de España, the Church of the Dulce Nombre de Maria, and Fort Santa Agueda in Apugan.

Why this matters: This innovative app has the potential to enhance the cultural and historical understanding of Guam's residents and visitors, promoting a deeper appreciation for the island's rich heritage. Moreover, it sets a precedent for the use of enhanced reality technology in cultural preservation and education, which could have far-reaching implications for the way we experience and interact with historical sites.

"The Bisita app is the result of years of research conducted at MARC," explained Dr. Madrid. "Historic and contemporary maps, photographs, and written records were meticulously analyzed to recreate Hagåtña's architectural landscape." Users can explore the layout of historic houses and the shape and distribution of the Almacen, a former government building. The app also features sound effects, voiceovers in English and Spanish, and a timeline of Guam's history.

One of the app's highlights is the ability to travel inside the Government Palace, the former colonial seat of government, with detailed recreations of its rooms and furnishings as they were in 1890. Dr. Fred Schumann, a professor at MARC, emphasized the app's potential to enhance visitors' experiences at heritage sites, stating, "This creates new ways to share Guam's rich history and culture with its residents and visitors. Enhancing their experiences at heritage sites, as this app truly does, is a critical endeavor, especially during contemporary times and changeable generations."

UOG President Anita Borja Enriquez praised the app's launch, saying, "Kudos to Dr. Madrid and his research and development team on the launch of the Bisita: Historic Guam app... The app exemplifies the University of Guam's dedication to educational innovation and cultural preservation through the Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center."

To use the augmented reality feature, users should point their device screen towards a flat surface, allowing the grey grid to be placed on the screen. They can then zoom in, move up and down, or move forward and backward at different speeds using on-screen controls. The app also features a side banner with additional controls, including the ability to lay a grid of contemporary Hagåtña streets or display white vertical cones on top of some of the city's landmarks.

The 'Bisita: Historic Guam' app is available for free download on the Google Play Store for Android devices and the App Store for iOS devices. By harnessing enhanced reality technology, the University of Guam's Micronesian Area Research Center has created an innovative tool that allows users to explore Guam's rich history and cultural heritage in an immersive and engaging way.

Key Takeaways

  • University of Guam's MARC launches "Bisita: Historic Guam" mobile app.
  • App uses enhanced reality to recreate 1890s Hagåtña, including landmarks.
  • Features sound effects, voiceovers, and timeline of Guam's history.
  • Allows users to explore Government Palace and other historic sites.
  • Free download on Google Play Store and App Store for Android and iOS devices.