Group brings forgotten landmarks to the smartphone

Group brings forgotten landmarks to the smartphone

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Of the nearly 200 Civil War forts built in Charleston County, only 60 are still left. Historians say only 19 of those are being permanently protected.

In some cases, history has been paved over to make way for parking lots. But a group of historians has found a way using lasers to bring our forgotten landmarks back to life.

Every day tourists come to Charleston because of its rich history.  They are drawn to the symbols of her past, the monuments dedicated to her yesterdays and the echoes of her now silent cannons at military forts.

Historical markers serve as attendants willing to share her story with anyone willing to stop and read it.

"As an historian, if I go to a spot and read a static sign that gives me a two paragraph description of what happened there, often times I'm good," said Doug Bostick, executive director of the SC Battleground Preservation Trust. "I know what happened there. With my three children, if I take them to a spot and show them that square sign, it elicits a big gigantic yawn. They've grown up in the Xbox, Playstation generation...and so they want to be able to see something real."

Bostick and a team of historians are on a mission to make history high tech. Tourists with cell phones might make  historical markers a thing of the past by using a smartphone or tablet to access history right in the palm of your hand.

"We happen to be on the cutting edge of this technology," Bostick says."There's nowhere else in the country that has done this on a comprehensive level the way that we're launching right now."

Technicians use a spinning radar to scan the landscape for signs of the past, preserve blueprints and create a 3D replica of a historic battle site.  

"So we put all of that together now in today's technology,"Bostick said."We can create what is an augmented reality 3D model."

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