Synchronous location-aware media and augmented visualization for real world tourist (SMART): An application for Khalifatabad heritage site, Bagerhat, Bangladesh
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© 2016 IEEE. The ancient city of Khalifatabad in Bangladesh (also known as Bagerhat) is famous for Hazrat Khan Jahan Ali and his monumental creations of various mosques and mausoleum. UNESCO proclaimed Khalifatabad as a world heritage site in 1985. Driven by both cultural and religious interests, millions of local and foreign tourists visit this site every year. At present, there exist several historically significant mosques, mausoleum, residence, ruins, large water reservoirs, archaeological excavations and artifacts. However, due to limited knowledge about the local context, less accessibility to historic information, and the poor guiding system the visitors are unfortunately being kept from a deeper understanding of the cultural values of the site. In such context, this research aims to develop an application for handheld devices that can feed seamless authentic information and visual aids to the tourists for them to enjoy an engaging and immersive tour at Khalifatabad. A literature survey on existing apps reveals that most of the tools are developed for certain objectives and rarely fit for direct implementation at Khalifatabad. Therefore, the challenge remains twofold. First to develop a conceptual framework, which would help the tourists to have a deeper understanding of the significance of Khalifatabad. Second, to develop an application through adopting the conceptual framework. In this, the paper proposes a four-step conceptual framework i.e. 'SMART' (Synchronous Location-Aware Media and Augmented Visualization for Real-world Tourists) solution, for presentation of the information and user engagement. Supported by location-based service (LBS) and various data structure to feed different interactive features this framework sets the 'user-experience' at the top. Being part of an ongoing research project, this paper presents possible scenarios explaining how the seamless and synchronous information may help the real-world visitors to reveal the past in a compelling and memorable way, and how it may provoke better understanding and appreciation of the context. This paper expects that the proposed SMART solution will uphold the significance of Khalifatabad to the real-world visitors, besides, as a prototype; will open the possibilities of further use to the other heritage sites of Bangladesh.
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