Museum of Vancouver first North American cultural institution to launch app using augmented reality

Museum of Vancouver first North American cultural institution to launch  app using augmented reality

The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) launches the Visible City, a virtual exhibition of Vancouver’s neon history this April 30. In doing so it becomes the first cultural institution in North America to have developed an app that makes use of augmented reality technology.

The Visible City is a free app and virtual exhibition that allows users to discover the rise, fall and revival of neon in Vancouver. The app provides walking tours of Vancouver’s most colorful neighborhoods and users can actively contribute to the history of 57 of Vancouver’s neon signs by uploading their own stories, sharing them with others and voting on their favorite signs and places.

“The app was borne out of a strong desire to bring the museum experience into the city itself, beyond the walls of our physical galleries,” explains Hanna Cho, MOV’s curator of Audience Engagement. “Discovering and exploring the city you live in through your mobile is such a normal part of our lives now, it’s exciting to have an app like the Visible City to add a curated layer of storytelling and interactive time-shifting to Vancouver’s Granville and Chinatown neighborhoods.”

Users can explore two digitally guided walking tours through Vancouver’s cultural heart (Granville Street) and the city’s original downtown hub (Chinatown and Hastings Street). By holding their cameras up to the present day scene, they can see the same Vancouver location appear as it did in the 1950s, 60s or 70s. Users can then listen to over 40 pre-curated stories on
audio and video told by celebrated Vancouverites like Dal Richards (big band musician), Joe Keithley (of DOA), Judy Graves (City of Vancouver advocate for the homeless) and more.

The Visible City is free to download and is available via the iTunes App Store and Google Play. For more information visit


James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email: [email protected]

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