Initial Design and Features of an Augmented Reality System for Urban Park Touring and Management

Konstantinos P. Ferentinos, Yannis Stavrakas, Harry Nakos, Kostis Pristouris, and Myrto S. Barda
International Journal of Computer Theory and Engineering (IJCTE, ISSN: 1793-8201), Vol. 12, Num. 5, Oct 2020
Abstract. Urban parks and open green areas are important attractions of environmental interest to city residents and visitors. Careful and well-targeted promotion of these areas, not only enhances the importance of their existence in the urban space, but at the same time can assist in the development of alternative forms of “green tourism”, and towards the direction of environmental awareness among citizens, which is particularly important nowadays and crucial for the future of the planet. New technologies are a key tool in enhancing the experience of touring urban parks, as they can make the tour much more attractive, highlighting interesting information about the flora and fauna of the park, as well as various other points of interest. At the same time, they can help guide the visitor inside relatively large parks, and easily identify his/her paths, thus highlighting areas of the park that would otherwise be neglected. They can also assist park managers in organizing events, thus solving one of the key operating problems mainly of large-scale urban parks, which is the failure to exploit their entire site due to reduced or problematic accessibility. This paper presents the initial design methodology and the main features of an integrated system that comprises an augmented reality mobile application for visitors of urban parks, and a corresponding park management web application for the managers of such park. Through the mobile app, an attractive, interactive touring environment will be created which will highlight the environmental and historical interest of those sites. At the same time, the web application will receive multimedia data from the users and will automatically collect anonymous data that may be useful to park managers to improve the visitors’ touring experience and to better highlight the advantages of visiting such parks.