Lough Neagh Partnership (LNP) has teamed up with Translink on a cutting edge project that uses Augmented Reality (AR) to educate and reconnect people with nature and specifically Lough Neagh Wetlands.
The project has been funded by the 2014 Challenge Fund administrated by Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) through funds generated via the N. Ireland plastic bag levy.
The project has entailed the design, creation and implementation of a brand new app called ‘Un-Lough Neagh-ture’, freely available to download on the Google Playstore now, in celebration of World Environment Day (5th June).
Each user of the app will be able to view specific information that floats in front of them in a virtual world using their camera function, to identify, locate and report natural heritage species and habitat features; while at the same time exploring environmental sites and their key public facilities. The ‘Un-Lough Neagh-ture’ app is the first environmental AR app of its kind in the UK and Ireland, and possibly even Europe!!
The main function of the app is to use it as a tool to navigate around 16 environmentally important sites located around the Lough Neagh Wetlands; from Local Nature Reserves to National Nature Reserves.
Users can also use the app to take images from their devices camera of wildlife or environmental concerns they have witnessed, these images are then tagged with a GPS co-ordinate and can be forwarded onto the LNP for observation using the ‘Report It’ tool.
The partnership between the LNP and Translink has been formed to develop and promote Lough Neagh as a top ecological destination. Lough Neagh is a haven for wildlife with many viewpoints around the shoreline, attracting bird watchers from all over the world due to the number and variety of birds which winter and summer on its shores.
Featured sites include Ballyronan LNR, Gort Moss, Coalisland Canal, Slantry Wood LNR, Craigavon Lakes, Washingbay LNR, Toome Canal, Rea’s Wood NR, Rams Island, Crumlin Glen, Lough Beg NNR, Brookend NR, Oxford Islands NNR.