Living History

An innovation project funded by Smart Tourism

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This project is developing a Living History mobile app solution for visitors to Historic Scotland sites that will improve the delivery of information at remote locations. It delivers relevant information to the visitors on their mobile that is pertinent to specific objects, places, and situations on the historic sites.

The information is delivered using local wireless via AmbieSense’s info points to the visitor’s mobile, rather than connecting to the web via 3G networks to avoid data roaming costs. The information resources contain both official interpretations of the site along with commentary from other visitors to the site. The mobile solution also provides a mechanism to synchronize the information held locally at the site with a central information server on the Internet. The Living History app provides an in-situ interaction with history for the visitors, along with improved outreach and a boosted service capacity for Historic Scotland. Through this app, even remote unmanned historic sites can provide a similar experience of history as a busy visitor attraction with expert guides on hand. Indeed perhaps a better experience; it has a single focus - this visitor - and is based on the experiences of fellow visitors, just like them!

Research Partners

Historic Scotland, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh
AmbieSense Ltd, 7 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen
Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

The Living History project brings together Historic Scotland, AmbieSense Ltd and Robert Gordon University. Historic Scotland has almost 270 unstaffed sites many of which have a significant number of visitors whose experiences may be improved with digital information delivery and social interaction. AmbieSense are specialists in augmenting digital content with physical places and objects through innovative mobile solutions. RGU has research experience in text mining and textual case-based reasoning applied to retrieval, recommendation and reasoning tasks.

RGU Research Team

Professor Susan Craw, Robert Gordon University

The research expertise of the team includes case-based reasoning, knowledge discovery, text mining and recommendation. More specifically for this project, the research team have extensive experience on both research and application development projects that involve information retrieval and reuse of text, as well as other media, such as image and audio. Recent projects include SmartCat Case Authoring Tool, iFetch usage-based image retrieval and Miranda music recommender system.

This project aims to design, showcase and evaluate a proof-of-concept mobile app solution targeting Historic Scotland business needs, with a view to future deployment on a wider scale across staffed and unstaffed sites.    

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