Thousands of years of history lying hidden beneath the streets of the capital of Bulgaria Sofia, or ancient Serdica, are now being “brought to the surface”, thanks to an interactive map, says Ivailo Tsankov, co-founder and owner of a company that is developing a tourist application, and goes on to explain just how simple it is to make all of this information available online:
“We are developing an augmented reality travel application. It features photographs, as well as general information in three languages – English, German and Bulgarian. The idea is to have a compass, which, in augmented reality, shows where the historical sites are located, and exactly what they looked like in antiquity.”
Martin Ivanov, who is also developing a travel application explains that the sites are located on their real GPS coordinates, but that for this project, he was inspired by something else:
“My work is connected with architecture, with the preservation of architectural monuments. And this is a different way of showing visitors the ancient sites that once existed, without any need of physical contact or intervention with the real monuments of culture. We shall show them digitally, a way that is also very well suited to the age we live in. For now, we have incorporated the sites of ancient Sedrica, eight in number, which have protected monument status. There are other sites from the age of Serdica that are in the basements of buildings in the city centre, or beneath streets. We have incorporated the historical remains that have remained visible, the sites that a tourist can go and see into the application. Thanks to our partnership with the Regional Museum of History, Sofia, we have information about these sites, as it is the museum that is in charge of them, and many of the artifacts found on site are on display at the museum.”
Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova says innovative projects of this kind have her support:
“We support these young people via the Sofia Investment Agency. We set up a loan programme, via the municipal guarantee fund, together with 13 banks, especially for innovative startups. And we are now seeing the products developed by these young people, they are now ready to make their applications operational. Digital technologies are developing exponentially. To my mind what is most important is to invest in education and the digitization of education,” said Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova.