VANCOUVER, Wash. – The future is to immerse yourself in the past. A smart phone application (app) is providing visitors to the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site with a new way to experience history.

Designed by The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver, the mobile app shows users images, maps, audio and video related to where they are at the site. Still in its infancy, the app covers a small area called “The Village,” which recreates living conditions from when the fort was active.

WSU Vancouver assistant professor Brett Oppegaard said the app is joining an ever-converging world of history and technology.

“Any of the media that we can present digitally can be packaged into this app and then put onto a phone… The user can access it when they need it, when they want to learn about something in particular,” he said.

Research assistant Brady Berkenmeier said the technology opens the fort to visitors in entirely new ways.

“It’s different than an audio tour; it’s different than a wayside sign,” he said. “It’s an interactive way to learn about history… I think it’s the future of this historic site.”

Working with the National Park Service, Oppegaard said he hopes the mobile app can be expanded to more areas of the fort and used as a model for apps at parks across the nation.

See an earlier article here.