The Visible City Review – Vancouver’s neon stories

On June 3, 2013

App Type: Uncategorized

The Visible City Review – Vancouver’s neon stories

Our rating:

By: Museum of Vancouver

Version #: 1.0.3

Date Released: 2013-05-15

Developer: The Visible City Support

Price: Free

User Rating:

We’ve seen different types of tour & travel apps, but no one would have imagined one like this. The Museum of Vancouver has done a fantastic job with The Visible City app to uphold and spread the history of Vancouver.

Praised as one of the most liveable cities in the world, Vancouver is known for its iconic neon lights. The Visible City helps us take a peek at its past, with the unique Augmented Reality feature. Start your walk according to the map and once you reach a station, raise your iPhone and be amazed by the visualisation of buildings, stores, boards and neon lights which used to be there, a 100 years back.

It is just like using any other AR map, but here, you see the past through your iPhone!

You can see pictures, videos, facts & historical milestones of each place and also hear the evolution of the city, as narrated by the native Vancouverites. The walking tour is sorted into two neighbourhoods – Granville and Hastings-Chinatown. Each walk of about one kilometre will introduce you to 8 historic locations and their relevance in AR and can easily be covered in under half an hour. And if you haven’t got that much time, use the Popular tab to cover places you really shouldn’t miss. Each station has its own gallery, ratings, comments and stories which you can go through and also, contribute to.

Apart from the concept, the fluid controls, gestures and the interface are interesting. To conclude, The Visible City is really handy for any visitor or even natives, who would love to cherish the old memories of Vancouver. We certainly hope that more cities come up which something this innovative, interesting and useful.

Quick Take


Would I Buy Again:Without doubt

Learning Curve:NA

Who Is It For:Anyone toursing Vancouver

What I Like:The concept and the interface

What I Don't Like:More neighbourhoods would be nice

Final Statement:A peek into the Vancouver's past

Read the Developer's Notes:
The Visible City goes beyond the walls of a traditional museum, enabling you to experience history in a whole new way through augmented reality technology. Discover the rise, fall and revival of neon on an interactive walking tour of the city's most colourful neighbourhoods, illuminating the stories behind the lights and the pulse that is the city of Vancouver.

Explore and interact with Vancouver’s neon history. Tour the city’s cultural heart, Granville Street, a vibrant mix of theatres, nightclubs and restaurants. Then explore the most infamous neon corridors of Vancouver’s original downtown hub, Chinatown and Hastings Street. Listen to some of the most celebrated Vancouverites tell their stories and watch video interviews that delve deeper into the city’s rich history.

Besides being a piece of history that you can carry in your pocket, the Visible City allows you to actively contribute to Vancouver's neon history. Add your own stories and share them with others, while voting for your favourite signs and places.


Explore Two Neon Walking Tours
Both 30 minute tours digitally guide you through Vancouver’s most colourful neighbourhoods – from the city’s entertainment district to its most infamous neon corridors.

Interact With History
Immerse yourself in the stories behind the lights using augmented realty features. Hold your camera up to the present day scene and see the same Vancouver location appear as it did in the 1950s, 60s or 70s. Explore text, audio and video interviews with celebrated Vancouverites.

Share Your Neon Stories
Add your own stories and share them with others, while voting for your favourite signs and places. Check in at 5 locations and receive 2 for 1 admission to the Museum of Vancouver.

Article By

From the first iPod Touch till the new iPad Mini, Roshan has loved each of his iDevices and has been busy tweaking and getting the most out of them. As a Med student from India, he splits his time between studying corpse and writing about his iOS passion. When not on the web, you could find him glued to TV Shows, movies or the bed! Recently, he has taken upon the role of an appreneur and is currently working on a revolutionary new app, Cyan for Facebook.

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