TIDE presents conclusions from VR experiences and the project platform

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Full house in Sligo. Experts across the Atlantic Area with niche maritime interests research history together using emerging technologies.
30 May 2023 - TIDE  project
The Interreg Atlantic Area funded and ERNACT-led TIDE project, or 'Atlantic Network for Developing Historical Maritime Tourism', held its final international conference in Sligo (Ireland) entitled 'Turning the TIDE, revealing the past through new eyes', on the 24th and 25th of May. This was hosted by our partners in Sligo County Council, in collaboration with the Spanish Armada Ireland volunteer group that has, for many years, promoted the Armada heritage of Streedagh and Grange in Sligo.

TIDE partners from Portugal, Spain, France, England, and the island of Ireland joined a wide group of experts, the Spanish Ambassador to Ireland, personalities, representatives from the Atlantic Area Joint Secretariat, and the local audience interested in the Spanish Armada. Among others, the conference brought together archaeologists who dived on the wreck of La Santa María de la Rosa in 1968, those who directed the dive of Spanish Armada wreck sites at Streedagh beach in 2015, specialized writers and historians, doctors and professors with knowledge of maritime history, the early-modern period and underwater cultural heritage.

Disruptive technologies to recover maritime history in the Atlantic Area
During the conference, the audience got the opportunity to enjoy the Virtual Reality (VR) experiences developed by project partners. Ronan McConnell from Derry City and Strabane District Council (Northern Ireland) showcased the maritime VR experiences installed in the Tower Museum and presented the new digital maritime engagement plans for the City of Derry. Our partner and VR expert from CLARTE (France), Lionel Dominjon, explained how the virtual heritage makes use of new digital technologies to preserve, study and valorize our cultural heritage. In addition, he described how the VR experiences were developed, from the initial idea to the launch of the trailers across the Atlantic Area. Our third partner presenting was Dorita Mendonca, from the Government of Madeira (Portugal). She demonstrated the two pilots developed on World War 1 and emigration to Hawaii using Augmented Reality (AR), virtual maps and a 360° environment around the user. She also discussed the third pilot concerning shipwrecks in Porto Santo island that will be finalised very soon. 

Are you interested? Watch some of the trailers and launches of the TIDE VR experiences that have been created with the support of our expert partner from CLARTE:

  • Beware! Convoy Below! Historically connected through the Word Wars, Donegal County Council (Ireland), Derry City and Strabane District Council and Devon County Council (England) jointly developed a VR experience. This project takes you into a kite balloon which is part of a convoy of merchant ships coming from North America and heading for Lough Foyle. 
  • Dry Dive is another experience developed by University of Cadiz (Spain) bringing the opportunity to virtually dive on several shipwrecks on the Strait of Gibraltar to promote its conservation.
  • Afloat and Ashore. Developed by DCSDC, this experience focuses on the migration theme. It recreates the 19th-century Derry Quay, where visitors board a steamship and set sail for New York under authentic contemporary narration.  
  • ‘The Storm, The Sea – The Saldanha’, a VR experience launched by Donegal County Council and installed at Fanad Lighthouse in Donegal. In the Napoleonic era, HMS Saldanha and HMS Talbot took shelter during strong gales and heavy seas, both heading for Lough Swilly. The experience takes you back in time as Captain Packenham’s ‘parrot’ on the Saldanha’s final journey.
  • ‘Wrath of the Atlantic, Wrecks of the Armada’, another VR experience inspired by the Spanish Armada and created by Donegal County Council can be viewed in the Inishowen Maritime Museum, in Donegal. 

Emerging technologies to facilitate nice tourism development initiatives
One of the highlights of the TIDE project final conference was the launch of the TIDE PLATFORM which will help experts with niche maritime interests (Spanish Armada, migrations, Napoleonic era, and World Wars) to work together to exploit and research the history. "We have a goal in TIDE and it's to promote our project outputs across the Atlantic Area. In doing that, we have developed a platform which documents all the assets in the different participating regions to make them available for everybody and to facilitate the connection between regions", concluded Dr Caitriona Strain, ERNACT Programme Manager and TIDE Project Leader.

The conference ended with some final conclusions and the invitation to reflect from ERNACT General Manager, Colm Mc Colgan. He asked the audience to raise their hands if they thought that VR or AR are some of the disruptive technologies that can help to recover and disseminate the maritime history. We can only say that we saw many hands up!


Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT for further information

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