Layar: Augmented Reality browsing of Powerhouse Museum around Sydney

Please note our data is no longer available in the Layar app. The information on the page below is shown for archival purposes only.


Travel back in time to see Sydney as it was 100 years ago.

Using your iPhone 3GS or Android camera you can walk around Sydney and discover how it looked in the past. Simply download the free Layar application to your device and head for downtown Sydney.

What do I need?

You’ll need either an iPhone 3GS or an Android phone. It is not compatible with the iPod Touch or earlier versions of the iPhone because they lack a compass.

Then you need to install the free Layar application.

App storeAndroid

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What is Layar?
The Layar Reality Browser shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of the real world as seen through the camera of your mobile phone. This technology is called Augmented Reality. We augment the real world as seen through your mobile phone, based on your location.

How does Layar’s Augmented Reality work?
The idea is simple: Layar works by using a combination of the mobile phone’s camera, compass and GPS data to identify the user’s location and field of view, retrieve data based on those geographical coordinates, and overlay that data over the camera view.

Can I try it if I am not in Sydney?
If you’d like to try it from outside Sydney you can do so. You’ll have to go to the Layar Preferences – under your phone settings on the iPhone – and set the ‘Use Fixed Location’ to On. The latitude you should enter is -33.878611 and longitude 151.19944.

The next version?
Soon we’ll be uploading a bunch of other points – contemporary photography from the same locations – and then adding some game elements. Stay tuned.

Thanks again to Rob and Alex at Mob-Labs for the development work.
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Using Layar

1. Go to the central business district of Sydney.

Open Layar on your mobile device then select Search. Type ‘powerhouse museum’


3. Select the Layar to open the browser with Powerhouse content loaded.

You may find a lot of points appear on your screen. If this happens you need to reduce the view distance in Layar.

You can switch between the ‘reality’ view and map and list views.

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