Augmented reality map lets tourists explore

Photo: Dublin-Smart-Tourismn from anywhere

Dublin City Council has launched a new augmented reality map that allows users to access a virtual map of the city on their mobile device. The feature can be accessed via the existing Dublin Discovery Trails app.

‘DiscovAR Dublin’ is hailed as a first for Ireland and uses new open Google Maps technology to create an interactive 3D map.

Users can be “transported into the city” to learn more about the history and significance of locations such as the Guinness Storehouse, EPIC – the Irish Emigration Museum, and 14 Henrietta Street.

“DiscovAR offers a new way for visitors and locals to experience the capital city,” said Jamie Cudden, Smart City Lead, Dublin City Council.

“Through our Smart Dublin programme, we are always thinking about how we can embrace new technologies to enhance how people engage with our city.

 ”This app through its immersive AR technology is a new and fun way to explore the city’s culture and history and we see huge potential to expand this.”

Netflix approach

The project is a collaboration between Dublin City Council, Smart Dublin and Virgin Media Business alongside Peel X, which developed the feature for the Dublin Discovery Trails app.

The app – which launched in January 2023 – is part of a larger ‘smart tourism’ strategy to invest in digital technology to improve the visitor experience.

“The app was built on an augmented reality platform called Unity,” Barry Rogers, Head of the Dublin City Tourism Unit, told Cities Today.

“Initially when we designed the app, its core purpose was for a digital heritage trail ‘Doors into Docklands’, which launched in January 2023.

“Essentially the app is a platform – it’s similar to the way that online streaming services like Netflix work, where you’ve got a platform and then multiple features on that platform. Now it’s a much bigger platform with more trails, and the augmented reality map feature.”

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