Macworld Masterclass: Discover Roman London

Explore ancient history with this app from the Museum of London

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  • anno Intro
  • Londinium Step 1 Step 1: Past times
  • Londinium Step 2 Step 2: Mapping history
  • Londinium Step 3 Step 3: Dropped pins
  • Londinium Step 4 Step 4: Get digging
  • Londinium Step 5 Step 5: When in Rome...
  • Londonium Step 6 Step 6: In the field
  • More stories
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Intro

As we charge through London, working, eating overpriced food and avoiding eye contact on public transport, it’s easy to forget that this fair city is steeped in history. But the Streetmuseum: Londinium app from the Museum of London is a great reminder of the capital’s past as a Roman commercial hub.

Out-of-towners and jaded locals alike will love its guided tour between the Museum of London and Tower Hill Station. There’s stacks of facts about London artefacts, and, through a tie-in with the History TV channel, video and audio clips. There’s also an augmented-reality feature that overlays reconstructed Roman scenes on to modern London. Here’s how it all works.

Vital Info

Device: iPhone/iPod touch/iPad
Difficulty: Beginner
Time required: As long as it takes to walk London’s Roman wall

What you need

iOS 4.2 or later
Streetmuseum: Londinium app (free)

Next »

Next Prev anno

As we charge through London, working, eating overpriced food and avoiding eye contact on public transport, it’s easy to forget that this fair city is steeped in history. But the Streetmuseum: Londinium app from the Museum of London is a great reminder of the capital’s past as a Roman commercial hub.

Out-of-towners and jaded locals alike will love its guided tour between the Museum of London and Tower Hill Station. There’s stacks of facts about London artefacts, and, through a tie-in with the History TV channel, video and audio clips. There’s also an augmented-reality feature that overlays reconstructed Roman scenes on to modern London. Here’s how it all works.

Vital Info

Device: iPhone/iPod touch/iPad
Difficulty: Beginner
Time required: As long as it takes to walk London’s Roman wall

What you need

iOS 4.2 or later
Streetmuseum: Londinium app (free)

 

Step 2 of 7: Step 1: Past times

When you first open the Streetmuseum: Londinium app, you’ll see a pictorial intro. It’s tempting to head for the ‘Skip intro’ button, but linger a while – the intro is actually a historical timeline of London. Flick sideways to move through the ages from 50AD to the present day. So far, so absorbing!

 

Step 3 of 7: Step 2: Mapping history

When you’re done with the historical slideshow, hit ‘Skip intro’. You’ll see a quick screen that explains the map icons to you. Hit ‘Explore now’ to be taken to the map. This has a slider at the bottom – drag it left to see London as it is today, and drag it right to gradually overlay features from Roman times.

 

Step 4 of 7: Step 3: Dropped pins

The map has various coloured pins. Tap a red pin and then the icon on the right of the pop-up to launch a multimedia clip, such as a video or audio clip, or an image. These are produced by the History TV channel and add further insights to your Roman London experience.

 

Step 5 of 7: Step 4: Get digging

Tap a purple pin to perform an ‘excavation’. This involves blowing into the mic of your iPhone or ‘digging’ at the screen to reveal an artefact that was excavated at the point marked by the pin. The artefact is accompanied by a little fanfare noise when you reveal it, and, of course, an explanatory blurb.

 

Step 6 of 7: Step 5: When in Rome...

On the map there’s a green line plotted, marking a walk past surviving Roman details. Your device’s location technology will guide you and there are black numbers showing where the ruins of the Roman city walls are still visible.

 

Step 7 of 7: Step 6: In the field

For iPhone users, there are augmented-reality reconstructions of scenes from Roman London overlaid on modern streets, viewed through the camera. To access, tap the ‘3D view’ button that appears when you get close to an AR-enabled site.

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