History is a way of seeing. Traces of the past are all around for those with eyes to see. Recent developments in augmented reality and computer vision technology make this truer than ever. Augmented reality enables computers to recognize spaces and objects, so historians can overlay computer-generated information on their real-world vision (for example, a historian wearing augmented reality glasses, walking down a street in 2014, can see computer-generated historic buildings superimposed on the real ones). Computer vision allows computers to look at millions of historic documents at a time, enabling researchers to see patterns previously undetectable. Because we can make computers see, researchers, students and the public will be able to see history in altogether new ways.
Taking advantage of the potential of these new technologies for history requires that we develop a new understanding of how we use them to research, teach and share our understanding of the past. The Seeing the Past project will take up this challenge. Welcome to our Web space!