Fort Vancouver Mobile - A video overview

Courtesy of: Research Assistant Aaron May of Washington State University Vancouver's Creative Media and Digital Culture program. Produced in 2011.

Video highlights from the apps (36-minute version)

This montage provides a sampling of some of the video media in the Fort Vancouver Mobile apps. This app is much more than just a video distribution system, but these videos show the variety of content, from expositional segments to new journalism to those intended to prompt the development of interactive narratives.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Columbian "cheers" the FVM project

The local newspaper's weekly list of good and bad in the community featured the Fort Vancouver Mobile project, saying:

"Cheers: To a new smartphone app that shows smartphone users images, maps, audio and video about a portion of Fort Vancouver. The application was developed by students in Washington State University Vancouver’s creative media & digital culture program. So far the app covers only the area outside the stockade known as the village, but assistant professor Brett Oppegaard, who oversaw its development, hopes it will be expanded."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kanaka module videos have been re-encoded

Forrest Burger of RiverBend Productions recently re-encoded the Kanaka module videos through a Matrox video encoder, which kept the file sizes roughly the same (to avoid buffering) but significantly increased the quality level of the imagery. The results look good, and that encoding process will be our new standard. ... Thanks, Forrest!

Kane's Wanderings animations

The voice talents of Ben Coder, a Fort Vancouver National Historic Site park ranger, have been added to the Paul Kane animations, produced by Brady Berkenmeier and Allen Anderson. Here is the context of the module and previous versions, and here are the latest drafts:

Animation 1-Good Audio from Brady Berkenmeier on Vimeo.

Animation 2-Good Audio from Brady Berkenmeier on Vimeo.

Animation 3-Good Audio from Brady Berkenmeier on Vimeo.

Animation 4-Good Audio from Brady Berkenmeier on Vimeo.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another beta testing opportunity ... Thursday morning, July 28

After a very busy beta testing session yesterday, July 25, that lasted almost the entire day (with the sunburn to prove it), I will be offering one more guided Fort Vancouver Mobile best testing session for the Kanaka module on Thursday morning, July 28, from 9 a.m. to noon. No RSVP needed. Just come by The Village (west of the stockade, between the bastion and the Land Bridge) during that time and find me in the area.

The next round of beta testing, probably starting in late August or early September, will be on the Kane's Wanderings module, which is nearly complete. More details to be announced on that soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Columbian makes notice of the FVM project

As part of a July 19 story about Fort Vancouver's annual archaeology field school, writer Tom Vogt also added this helpful sidebar about the Fort Vancouver Mobile project. Thanks, Tom!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

FVM on the local Fox News channel

Just found out that a short piece about the project ran on Fox News at 4:37 p.m. Monday, July 18:

Here's a link to the clip

Monday, July 18, 2011

Women & Domestic Life at the Village of Fort Vancouver

Dr. Dene Grigar has been working diligently on a new module for the Fort Vancouver Mobile project based on the women and domestic life at Fort Vancouver, funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Start-Up grant. She is keeping a separate blog on her process and product here. It is an impressive bit of documentation, including a bibliography, project updates and project details.

Friday, July 15, 2011

WSU News creates a video story about the FVM project

Matt Haugen from WSU News was given a demo of the FVM app a few weeks ago, and here is the story he produced from that experience:

From: "UREL.WSU.News"
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 10:42:10 -0700
Subject: WSU VANCOUVER NEWS: WSU mobile app offers interactive experience for Fort Vancouver visitors


WSU mobile app offers interactive experience for Fort Vancouver visitors

Brett Oppegaard, assistant professor, 360-546-9788,

Media contact:
Matt Haugen, WSU News, 509-335-0487,

Editor’s note: A video version of this story can be found HERE:

VANCOUVER, Wash. – The future is to immerse yourself in the past. A smart phone application (app) is providing visitors to the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site with a new way to experience history.

Designed by The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver, the mobile app shows users images, maps, audio and video related to where they are at the site. Still in its infancy, the app covers a small area called “The Village,” which recreates living conditions from when the fort was active.

WSU Vancouver assistant professor Brett Oppegaard said the app is joining an ever-converging world of history and technology.

“Any of the media that we can present digitally can be packaged into this app and then put onto a phone… The user can access it when they need it, when they want to learn about something in particular,” he said.

Research assistant Brady Berkenmeier said the technology opens the fort to visitors in entirely new ways.

“It’s different than an audio tour; it’s different than a wayside sign," he said. "It’s an interactive way to learn about history… I think it’s the future of this historic site.”

Working with the National Park Service, Oppegaard said he hopes the mobile app can be expanded to more areas of the fort and used as a model for apps at parks across the nation.

To learn more about the mobile app, click here

See an earlier article here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

WSU News article about the FVM project from 2010

Apparently I missed this one when it came out, but I found it recently. So here it is. It was triggered by the 2010 Clark County Historical Promotion Grant awarded to the project.

Friday, July 1, 2011

More Paul Kane animation drafts

Brady Berkenmeier, the PI for the Kane's Wanderings module, has sent a few more draft animations (with scratch audio; we will be recording the new audio sometime in the next few weeks). This extends the earlier work he and graphic designer Allen Anderson have done.

The segments are shorter and more location-oriented, per the app design. They also are part of a clever locative game Berkenmeier designer, in which users try to piece back together Kane's journal pages by walking around The Village area. One aspect of the animation that I am really enjoying is picturing these historical characters once again moving around the setting the way it looked in their time period, without the highway, the railroad, the airport, etc., in the background. Instead, they can see, as the people of that period did, Mount Hood and the Columbia River right at their doorsteps. We also have been in regular contact with the Chinook tribe, of which Casanov was chief, in order to fill out the story more, and get more of a broader perspective into the piece (not just Kane's words). That's still a work in progress.

These are drafts, and we are open to suggestions, so please comment at will:

Animation1RoughDraft from Brady Berkenmeier on Vimeo.

Animation2RoughDraft from Brady Berkenmeier on Vimeo.

Animation3RoughDraft from Brady Berkenmeier on Vimeo.

Animation4RoughDraft from Brady Berkenmeier on Vimeo.