If you own a smartphone, such as an iPhone or Android, chances are you have an app that uses some form of augmented reality (AR). This technology superimposes digital information on whatever you're looking at through your phone's camera. Some AR apps allow you to measure distances and angles or even track cosmological events such as the azimuth of the sun. Still other AR apps amazingly recognize patterns in photos, diagrams, and bar codes that then link you to additional content or services, such as product reviews, price comparisons, or videos.
We created the AR app for the iPhone that measures distances to objects that are displayed as location-based labels (or billboards) that hover over or in front of objects you see through the camera display - Thomas Emge and Sathya Prasad of the Esri Applications Prototype Lab.
"GIS data is already a source of spatially enabled information that can be fed directly to your mobile device," explains Richie Carmichael of the Esri Applications Prototype Lab. As AR becomes more prevalent, more developers will begin integrating GIS services and content to serve very real and practical purposes.