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Two apps have been created, one called Mission: Butterfly based on “augmented reality” technology and will be used primarily at the newly designated National Nature Reserve (NNR) at the Aberbargoed Grasslands.
The second app, The Upper Sirhowy Historical Cycleway, is based on the history of the Upper Sirhowy valley and is aimed at users of the cycleway.
Aberbargoed Grasslands was designated a National Nature Reserve in June of this year as they have been actively managed and improved over the last ten years to produce the ideal habitat for the rare Marsh Fritillary butterflies.
The Grasslands are in a very unique position, as, unusually for NNR’s, they are on the edge of an urban area. Mission Butterfly is aimed at encouraging public access to the NNR whilst at the same time providing information about the Marsh Fritillary and other butterflies that can be found there.
Mission: Butterfly requires you to search out and collect 15 digital butterflies hiding in Aberbargoed Grasslands National Nature Reserve and in the Upper Sirhowy Valley. The game is based on catching virtual butterflies with the player using their phone like a butterfly net, to catch virtual butterflies and learn about them as they walk around the NNR. The app will be adapted to allow people to take part in competitions to “catch” as many virtual butterflies as they can.
Android Device Requirements:
Adobe Air Compatible? Because the game uses AR not all Android devices are compatible. The key thing is that the phone can run Adobe Air (without getting too technical this requires an ARMv7 processor!) That should mean that any decent Android smartphone from Galaxy S2 onwards should be supported. If you can find Adobe Air on Google Play from the phone then it is likely to be compatible.
The Upper Sirhowy Valley in South Wales is steeped in industrial history. Coalmining was at the heart of this industry and the pits that lined the River Sirhowy, were linked by a tram road. The Sirhowy Tramway, which opened in the late 18th century, was one of the earliest railways of its kind and was responsible for the growth of Newport as a major coal port and ultimately a city. The ‘black gold’ and iron from this region helped power the Industrial Revolution.
The app allows the user to see historical photographs of the particular place, where they are standing overlain on the actual view that they see through their camera viewfinder.
Get the app on Google Play.