February 23, 2011 in Travel (E)
[prMac.com] Koeln, Germany - TimeTours today is pleased to introduce TimeTours: Chichen Itza for iOS, their revolutionary multimedia app that takes the viewer on a guided tour of the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Featured are meticulously rendered 3D stills, animations, and full-circle panoramas that allow instant comparison of the city as it appears today, versus how it looked over 900 years ago. At once a practical guide for actual tourists visiting the archaeological site in Mexico, and a doorway for virtual travelers exploring the past, the fact-filled multimedia production heralds a new age of app-based time traveler/tourist guides.
The pre-Hispanic city of Chichen Itza has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was recently voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World (of the historical 7 Wonders of the World only the Great Pyramid of Giza remains). Founded in approximately 750 AD, by 1000 AD the city had become a major center of Mayan arts, religion, politics, and commerce. A theocracy, ruled by god-like kings, the city and its temples were inhabited by high priests and aristocrats, with common people occupying small village communities in the surrounding areas.
TimeTours: Chichen Itza launches with a feature film quality 3D animation taking the user back in time to the a world of human sacrifice and geared, mechanical calendars. The opening screen introduces Alberto, a 3D professorial-looking character who acts as tour guide, and who speaks directly to the user via a dialogue text balloon. He acknowledges that he has automatically adjusted the app, based on the screen size, and GPS and compass capabilities of the iOS device.
The second 3D tour guide character is Ah Pach Uitz, an ancient Mayan tribesman dressed in traditional garb and headdress. He introduces the viewer to the full screen map of the city. As all maps, documents, and frames in the app, this one is a replica of the original, created on a brown, textured papyrus-like paper made from the inner bark of trees. The map contains detailed drawings of buildings, public areas, and temples, 3 marked with a human eye and 12 marked with an "X". Designed for operation in landscape mode, touching any eye brings up a full, scrollable 360 degree panorama view created in 3D graphics (Maya!). Touching any "X" brings up four rectangular windows of equal size. The lower right window is generally a text summary of the history and significance of the structures in that part of the city.
Other windows may include: a 3D still that touched, launches a full-screen 3D animation walk-thru of the structure as it existed almost a thousand years ago; a modern color photograph of a structure that expands to full screen for closer examination; a collage of ancient pictorial art, scholarly drawings, and close-up photos that may be expanded to fill the screen; a high resolution photo of ancient Mayan art and sculpture photographed on display in museums; an animated 3D movie showing an accurate reconstruction of a structure, rotating in space; a remarkable Now & Then window, that filling the screen contains a color photo of a structure as it exists today, and a horizontally (un)scrollable overlay of tree bark paper displaying a photorealistic 3D rendering of exactly the same scene, but during the city's "Golden Age"; and an ancient map of the structures marked by the "X" shown in greater detail, and having "X"s of its own that change the other three windows correspondingly.
Also included in the app are stereoscopic 3D animations, an app control panel, advice on local accommodations, and an integrated treasure hunt game. The app truly provides a TimeTour, a remarkable comparative view and understanding of this ancient city; and the countless hours of multimedia production and programming have created an iOS tour guide app that is visually impressive, educational, practical, and fun.
* Dozens of infoscreens with graphics, photos, and animations of every temple
* 15 Now & Then time windows - current photo with peel-back 3D reconstruction overlay
* Soundtrack with Spanish and Mayan rhythms
* 3 large 360 degree 3D panoramas that put the time traveler right into the ancient city
* Treasure hunt (play on location or at home) using GPS or hidden-object minigames
* Two time travel tour guide characters help the user with all features of the app
* Coming soon- TimeTours: Gerasa, Pompeii, Uxmal, Palenque, and Egypt
"As an educational tool, tourist guide, or adventure game, TimeTours: Chichen Itza is the first of a new series of apps featuring high production values and authoritative text," commented company owner Martin Gruhn. "We encourage educational institutions to contact us about special educational discounts."
* US English, German, and Spanish
* iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
* iOS 3.1.3 or later (iOS 4 tested)
* Universal application
* 78.6 MB
Pricing and Availability:
TimeTours: Chichen Itza is $1.99 (USD) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Travel category. Review copies are available upon request.
Located in Koeln, Germany, the TimeTours team is an independent software company founded by Martin Gruhn in June of 2010. With their strong blend of design and development skills, TimeTours is dedicated to offering the highest possible historical accuracy in 3D reconstructions for mobile devices. They work with talented 3D artists from Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Copyright (C) 2011 Martin Gruhn. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod, and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.