Developing digital content for the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site

Advanced Limes Applications (ALApp) is a European project developing and disseminating digital technologies and content for advanced mobile applications to interpret the transnational World Heritage Site Frontiers of the Roman Empire, with a focus on the Antonine Wall in Scotland and the Raetian Limes in Bavaria. Supported by the European Union's Creative Europe programme, the project brings together four partners from Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom to scan archaeological artefacts and sites and make the produced 3D objects available in smartphone and tablet applications, using augmented and virtual reality. These activities are supported by stakeholder events and publications for a variety of audiences.

Archaeological sites

Site activities of the ALApp project focus on the Antonine Wall in Scotland and the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes in Bavaria, both of which constitute, together with other parts of the Limes in Germany and Hadrian's Wall in England, the transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site Frontiers of the Roman Empire. In Scotland, the project works with six locations along the Antonine Wall: Bearsden, Croy Hill, Duntocher, Kinneil, Rough Castle and Watling Lodge. The work in Bavaria, however, focusses on one site, the archaeological landscape at Eining, near Regensburg, including the former Abusina castell.

Technological developments

In the ALApp project, an existing app for smartphones and tablets will be advanced to present in innovative formats new content about the archaeology of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire. In addition to the use of conventional text, photos and videos, the ALApp features three-dimensional reconstructions of built structures and archaeological objects. The reconstructions of objects are based on high-precision recording of existing artefacts, now stored off-site in museums. For the recording, laser and structured light scanning and micro-photogrammetry. Building reconstructions are based on extensive archaeological and historical research. As virtual reality, the 3D app content is accessed anywhere. For on-site viewing, the app offers utilised augmented reality.

Events & publications

During the project duration, the ALApp project partners will run a series of both invited and public events, including international seminars and a conference and workshops with local stakeholders. Publications will provide insights into the progress and results of the project, ranging from information leaflets and a regular email newsletter to policy briefings, magazine articles and academic papers.

Partners & supporters

The ALApp project is a collaboration of 4 project partners from Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom: Historic Environment Scotland, the Bavarian State Conservation Office, the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation and EduFilm & Medien. With cofunding from the European Union's Creative Europe programme, the project partners are advancing an app originally developed with support from Bavarian Savings Bank Foundation. Several museums are supporting the project by providing access to archaeological objects in their care.

Project particulars

Running from 2016 to 2020, ALApp involves advancing a mobile phone app, creating digital content by recording archaeological sites and objects found at them, conducting related audience research, involving relevant stakeholder and disseminating the project's research. Structured into 5 work streams, the project's activities will achieve three objectives. Project outputs will be delivered throughout the duration of the project.