Keywords: Digital Heritage, Tourism, Social Interaction, Augmented Reality

“You’ve Got AR Mail!” is a mobile application that enriches the spatial experience and social interaction for visitors at cultural heritage sites. It combines augmented reality (AR) technology, captured photogrammetric 3D models, and traditional paper media.
The digital content augmentation in the AR application includes photogrammetric 3D captures of the target site and animated human figures. The paper media is a set of architectural drawings printed on postcards that serve as trackable image targets. A plan of the entire heritage site is partitioned into several drawings, each printed on a postcard and augmented by a corresponding 3D model. When a user of the app views these postcards through the camera of the mobile device, the digital contents are superimposed over the view of the drawings.
An individual postcard is used to examine each 3D model, or all the postcards can be combined in a specific arrangement to see the entire site. The meticulously captured 3D models provide users with a scaled, realistic representation of the target. The system also provides a special scissor card that allows the user to “cut” the digital model and see the cut section at any angle for further exploration. These postcards then can be sent to a remote location to share the visitor’s spatial experience with friends and family.
“You’ve Got AR Mail!” is designed to give users a playful and exploratory experience of a cultural heritage site and a way to share their experience with others using the mail-friendly postcards. This is a low-cost interactive platform suitable for any tourism center or location of historic importance. Its application can be tailored to each site by adding annotations, playful graphics, and audio recordings that provide additional information to the visitor.