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Innovative Walking with Romans app wins Heritage award

29 October 2015

Animation shot from Walking with Romans

An innovative app using historical expertise from a Cardiff University academic has won a Discover Heritage Award.

The Walking with Romans mobile phone app helping visitors engage with the ancient past of a historically significant area of the Brecon Beacons National Park has taken the Association for Heritage Interpretation’s 2015 Discover Heritage Awards in the Landscapes, forests, nature reserves, parks and gardens category.

The annual Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI) Discover Heritage Awards celebrate excellence in cultural and natural heritage interpretation in Britain and Ireland. The 2015 Awards, sponsored by Geosho, featured six categories at the awards ceremony announced by Loyd Grossman on 21 October.

Produced with the support of Cardiff University’s Dr Kate Gilliver as historical consultant, the Walking with Romans app uses GPS triggered technology and augmented reality to take visitors on a trip back through time to explore the Roman remains at the site of a Roman marching camp in South Wales.

Walking with Romans takes visitors on a four mile walk around the Scheduled Ancient Monument site of Y Pigwyn, guided by the voices of local modern day tour guide Rory and Roman Legion soldier Primus, telling the story of the Romans’ conquest and settlement story in the National Park.

Developed by Living Data Labs, the innovative app provides videos and augmented reality technology that help visitors better understand the layout and role of the camp, plus guidance on how to get to the site and a host of information aimed at different age groups.

Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion Dr Kate Gilliver provided information on the nature and role of Roman marching camps and their defences, contributing to the reconstruction images and videos and the virtual tour guides dialogue.

Announcing the 2015 winners, Association for Heritage Interpretation Patron Loyd Grossman said: “This year's award winners showed a wide range of exciting and innovative interpretation all aimed at helping the public to get more enjoyment, more education and more benefit from our outstanding natural and cultural heritage.”

Fellow winning projects included The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre (overall best project), English Heritage’s presentation of the 1930’s rooms at Eltham Palace, a First World War memorial in Walkley Community Centre and Big Heritage’s Roman Medicine Roadshow.

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