The ‘Woudagemaal 360’ app was developed in the period October 2016 - January 2017. Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Education, Culture and Science, together with a class of higher vocational school students, launched the Woudagemaal 360 app on 11 January 2017.
The pumping station is owned by the Foundation Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal. Together with Wetterskip Friesland, it commissioned this project. The virtual tour contributes to the educational goals of the Wetterskip Friesland and UNESCO. The development of the tour is also made possible by financial support from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
Podium creates visitor centres, expositions and museums in all shapes and sizes, throughout the Netherlands. Their goal is to encourage visitors to discover the information themselves, which contributes to an experience that actively engages the visitors. Podium also develops educational programmes and resources for different audiences. For the Woudagemaal, Podium established the visitor centre and developed all the educational materials from primary to higher vocational level.
IQ Media has, as a creative media agency, all the expertise in house to create various interactive exhibits for museums and visitor centres. In developing this, it’s all about offering both the right experience and results, and they always think on the basis of the needs of the visitor. If this means that renewed and innovative solutions are required, the IQ Media team does not avoid this challenge. For Woudagemaal, IQ-Media developed the 360° recordings, the AR animations, the technology for the mobile apps and software for the Gear VR.
‘Woudagemaal 360’, virtual (VR) tour with augmented reality (AR)elements
The Ir. D.F. Wouda pumping machine is a UNESCO World Heritage. It is the largest still functioning steam pumping station in the world. The pumping station from 1920 is still used a few times a year for the Frisian water management. After starting and warming up for six hours, the almost 100 year-old machines operate at full speed: a fantastic sight.
Virtual reality allows us now to see the pumping station work every day of the year. We made a 360 movie at nine locations in and around the Woudagemaal. Of the lighting of the huge boilers, the steam clouds outside the pumping station, the impressive steam engines and its smooth rotating flywheels.
The 360° film was made with the Nokia OZO (one of the best cameras out there) and can be viewed in different ways: with a smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android), whether or not combined with Google cardboard, or the Samsung Gear VR. The users of the app ‘Woudagemaal 360’ can choose from 11 languages in the app stores.
And this film offers something special, the addition of augmented reality (AR) elements on top of the live action filmed images. This is done in a way that is unprecedented.
The invisible is made visible: the inside and operation of a boiler; the pistons acting in a steam engine. And how when it rains the water level in the Frisian bosom rises and hence the need for the deployment of the Woudagemaal. An educational quiz has been added.
The visitor centre of the Wouda pumping station opened in 2011 and is thé educational hub in Friesland. In the visitor centre, young and old are informed about the operation of the pumping station, about culture and water management in Friesland. The interactive exhibition offers a peek into the world of steam, power, water management and movement. Here, you can take a virtual look inside the visitor centre. Here, you can take a virtual look inside the visitor centre.
In the interactive visitor centre of the Wouda pumping station, the working process is explained in a simple way, and also the mechanical, physical and technical principles underlying them. Thus it is told in an accessible way how the pumping station operates and why the pumping station is recognized by UNESCO as having outstanding universal value.
Meanwhile the Wouda pumping station has a wide range to offer for various educational groups.
Many schools visit the pumping station annually. The Wouda pumping station bases its educational line on the following themes: water management, engineering, architecture, and UNESCO World Heritage. Besides the schools and many domestic holidaymakers and tourists (about 40,000 per year), the Wouda pumping station receives a great deal of foreign visitors, thanks to the UNESCO status. With as many as 11 languages, they are now also well served with information in the form of films, exhibits and audio tours.
The Virtual Reality Tour 'Woudagemaal 360’ in 11 languages is primarily intended for senior secondary vocational students (civil engineering) and students studying steam. The app will certainly be an impressive and also educational experience for the general public of all ages, in the Netherlands as well as in other countries. A lovely added bonus is that the tour will help inspire future staff, and can be used in staff training.
Never before has the opportunity occurred to 'turn on' the pumping station at any time, to generate the mechanical and physical fundamentals to life and make a direct and visible link with water (utility and necessity). An app that allows the visitor to experience operating the pumping station.
The reactions up to now have been very positive:
"Due to the application of this new cutting-edge technology, it is possible in a sensitive Industrial World Heritage environment, where nothing may be modified or changed, to provide appealing information. And to be honest, images say much more than words! The Woudagemaal 360 app brings our pumping station alive every day," stated Hilda Boesjes-Beljon, director of the Foundation Ir. DF Wouda pumping station. Download the Tour via App Store, iOS App Store: Woudagemaal360