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Temples enter digital age with new iPad app

Temples enter digital age with new iPad app

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Screengrab from the new Angkor Wat iPad app. Photo Supplied

Lara Croft could have used one of these.

A new interactive guide to Angkor Wat for iPads has been made available by the cultural protection NGO Heritage Watch.

An Interactive Guide to Angkor,” sold at Apple’s iTunes store, was writtened by archaeologist and Heritage Watch director Dr Dougald O’Reilly, and features narration by Southeast Asian studies scholar Charles Higham.

“It’s inspired by one of the most inspirational places in the world,” said O’Reilly. O’Reilly, who lived in Cambodia for seven years beginning in 1999, started Heritage Watch in 2003 in a bid to help combat looting and conserve Cambodia’s archaeological legacy.

“Angkor is an incredibly inspirational place,” said O’Reilly. “Every time I drive through the gates of Angkor Thom, I can’t really express it, but the grandeur and the magnificence of the gates and enigmatic faces are just incredible.”

The app features maps, pop-up information boxes, photographs, and an audio guide. Users are also treated to information and stories about Khmer mythology, Hindu religion and the temples’ history and significance.

“There’s just a lot of exciting new features available,” said O’Reilly. “It makes for a more dynamic user experience, rather than just having the audio.”

O’Reilly said he hoped that the app would generate significant funds for Heritage Watch. “It’s hard to find revenue and profits to support heritage conservation in Cambodia,” he said. “There are very few grants available that heritage organisations can access.” O’Reilly himself does not receive a salary from his organisation.                               

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