Chicago Zero, Zero — Augmented Reality Tour of Downtown

Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA, John Russick, Chicago History Museum, USA

CHICAGO 0,0 is a mobile app (smartphones or tablets) designed to share visual, historical, and architectural resources from the Chicago History Museum’s collection with people moving through Chicago using mobile devices.

CHICAGO 0,0 refers to the corner of State and Madison Streets where the city’s street numbering starts at zero. Moving north along State Street to the Chicago River and south to Congress Parkway, this app uses Augmented Reality (AR) and image-recognition technology to superimpose historical images on live-streaming video from the phone’s camera. Shots aligned with features of today’s built environment communicate immediately what has changed and what remains. The experience transforms the urban landscape into an historical excavation of the people and places that have defined Chicago, and provides CHM with a new tool for sharing the city’s stories.

The CHICAGO 0,0 app is now in prototype phase (documentation of the app in action can be viewed at ). The collaborative team behind the project, Assistant Professor Alan Rhodes from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Visual Communication Design and Chicago History Museum's Director of Curatorial Affairs, John Russick, propose to take group(s) of Museum and the Web attendees on a guided tour of the downtown streets surrounding the conference using the Chicago 0,0 app. Attendees can use their own phones with the downloaded software and also pre-loaded tablet computers will be provided. The tour will give each person, individually, the novel experience of past and present merged through Augmented Reality, will be able to ask questions about the project development, and will be encouraged to share their ideas and feedback.

Project website:

Assistant Professor Alan Rhodes' 2014 virtual AR museum in Sacramento California:

A similar project, The Museum of London's StreetMuseum: