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The Mobile Augmented Reality Travel Guide

An augmented reality iPhone application that uses GPS, Google Services, and a smartphone camera to guide users through the sights of London.

The customer’s goal is to become the market leader in the industry of augmented reality video podcasts for mobile devices. The application was to guide users through the top places of interest in major cities in an informative and entertaining way using GPS and augmented reality features.

The iPhone app development team had to copy the interface of the Google Directions service, so that users could easily find their way from one place to another and create routes covering multiple attractions. Another challenge was to implement the augmented reality features. The application was to recognize London sights and display their descriptions, when the user pointed at them with the smartphone camera.

The application uses Google Services for route finding. There is no standard interface for drawing routes, so the software sends queries to Google. The received data encoded in the Google Wave format is then processed and displayed the map.

The team decided to synchronize the camera and the accelerometer, so that the application could show descriptions of sights, when a user points at them with the camera. The augmented reality features work as follows: GPS locates the user, the compass detects their exact direction, and the accelerometer determines whether the smartphone is positioned vertically or horizontally. The application synchronizes the data and calculates what exactly the user is looking at. In case there are any sights near that point on the map, the software displays corresponding information on top of camera view.

The application guides tourists through the attractions of London in a fast, informative, and entertaining way. It works as a guide that can recognize nearby sights and immediately provide useful descriptions. Users can add locations to the list of favorites and draw routes covering multiple places of interest on the visual map.

Technology Stack

Client Platform/Application Server



Cocoa Touch, UIKit framework, Geocoding

Programming Language

Objective-C, C

Development Environment


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