Situated Simulations (SitsimLab)


• Bøe, E. J. (2021) 'Remediation of Historical Photographs in Mobile Augmented Reality' in  in The Journal of Media Innovation (Special Issue: Changes in Cultural Heritage communication), Issue ‘, Vol. 7, pp. 29–40.

• Liestøl, G., Bendon, M., Hadjidaki-Marder, E. (2021) ‘Augmented Reality Storytelling Submerged. Dry Diving to a World War II Wreck at Ancient Phalasarna, Crete’, in Heritage (Special Issue Dive in Blue Growth – Protection and Promotion of Accessible Underwater Cultural Heritage Sites), Issue 4, pp. 4647-4664.

• Bolter, J. D., Engberg, M., Freeman, C., Liestøl, G. & MacIntyre, B. (2021) ‘The Acropolis on the Immersive Web’, in The Journal of Media Innovation (Special Issue: Changes in Cultural Heritage communication), Issue ‘, Vol. 7, pp 41-51.

• Liestøl, G. (2021) ‘Museums, Artefacts and Cultural Heritage Sites. Using Augmented Reality to bridge the gaps between indoors/outdoors and center/periphery in Cultural Heritage Communication’ in The Journal of Media Innovations (Special Issue: Changes in Cultural Heritage Communication), 2021

• Liestøl, G. (2019) 'Augmented Reality Storytelling. Narrative Design and Reconstruction of a Historical Event in situ' in International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) Vol. 13, No. 12, 2019, pp. 196-206.

• Liestøl, G. (2019) 'The Photo positioning Puzzle: Creating Engaging Applications for Historical Photographs by Combining Mobile Augmented Reality and Gamification' in Alonzo C. Addison & Harold Thwaites (Eds.) Proceedings of the 2018 3rd Digital Heritage International Congress (DigitalHERITAGE/VSMM) 26-30 October 2018, San Francisco. IEEEXplore. DOI: 10.1109/DigitalHeritage.2018.8810038

• Liestøl, G. & Hadjidaki, E. (2019) 'Quasi–Mixed Reality in Digital Cultural Heritage. Combining 3D Reconstructions with Real Structures on Location—The Case of Ancient Phalasarna'. In: Kremers Horst (ed.) Digital Cultural Heritage. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature, pp. 423–432. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-15200-0_29

• Bjørkli, B., Ledas, Š., Liestøl, G., Stenarson, T., Uleberg, E. (2018) 'Archaeology and Augmented Reality. Visualizing Stone Age Sea Level on Location’ in Matsumoto, M and Uleberg, E (Eds.) Oceans of Data. Proceedings of the 44th Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology. Oxford: Archaeopress Publishing Ltd 2018, pp. 367-377

• Liestøl, G. (2018) ‘Story and Storage – Narrative Theory as a Tool for Creativity in Augmented Reality Storytelling’ in Virtual Creativity, Volume 8 Number 1, pp. 75-89. © 2018 Intellect Ltd Article. English language. doi: 10.1386/vcr.8.1.75_1

• Smørdal, O., Liestøl, G. & Erstad, O. (2016) 'Exploring situated knowledge building using mobile augmented reality', in QWERTY 11, 1 2016, pp. 26-43

• Liestøl, G., Morrison, A. & Stenarson. T. (2015) 'Visualization of Climate Change in situ' in (Eds. Thwaites, H. et al.) Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM), 9-12 December 2014 Hong Kong. IEEE conference proceedings 2015 ISBN 9781479972272, pp. 251-256. DOI: 10.1109/VSMM.2014.7136657

• Liestøl, G., Smørdal. O. & Erstad, O. (2015) 'STEM–Learning by means of Mobile Augmented Reality. Exploring the Potential of Augmenting Classroom Learning with Situated Simulations and Practical Activities on Location.' in Proceedings of The EDULEARN 2015 Conference, Barcelona: IATED Publications, pp 6515–6522.

• Liestøl, G. & Morrison, A. (2015) 'The power of place and perspective: sensory media and situated simulations in urban design', in de Souza e Silva, A. & Sheller, M. (Eds.) Mobility and Locative Media: Mobile Communication in Hybrid Spaces (Changing Mobilities). New York: Routledge 2015, pp. 207-22

• Liestøl, G. (2015) 'Situated & Sensory Media between Centre & Periphery in Museum Mediation' in (Eds. Thwaites, H. et al.) Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM), 9-12 December 2014 Hong Kong. IEEE conference proceedings 2015 ISBN 9781479972272, pp. 247-250. DOI: 10.1109/VSMM.2014.7136658

• Liestøl, G. (2014) 'Along the Appian Way. Storytelling and Memory across Time and Space in Mobile Augmented Reality', in M. Ioannides et al. (Eds.) Progress in Cultural Heritage: Documentation, Preservation, and Protection. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, pp 248-257.

• Liestøl, G. & Friedlander, L. (2013) 'Jerusalem's Holy Mount. On Palimpsestic Places in Situated and Sensory Media' in Addison, A. C., Guidi, G., De Luca, L., and Pescarin, S. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 2013 Digital Heritage International Congress, IEEE, Vol. 1, pp. 429–433.

• Liestøl, G. & Morrison, A. (2013) 'Views, Alignment and Incongruity in Indirect Augmented Reality' in Proceedings of ISMAR 2013, IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality - Arts, Media and Humanities. 1-4 Oct. 2013, pp 23-28.

• Engmark, U. J. (2013) 'Reliability in Situated Simulations' in International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM), Vol 7, No. 3 (2013), pp 30–37 (Open acceess).

• Liestøl, G. (2013) 'Topics of Innovation. Towards a Method of Invention and Innovation in Digital Media Design' in Storsul, T. & Krumsvik, A. H. (Eds.) Media Innovations. A Multidisciplinary Study of Change. Gothenburg: NORDICOM, pp. 61–74.

• Liestøl, G. (2012) 'Solving the Centre–Periphery Problem in Cultural Heritage by Means of Situated Simulations' in Iannides, M. et al (Eds.) Progress in Cultural Heritage Preservation. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2012, Volume 7616/2012, pp. 618–627. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.

• Liestøl, G., Doksrød, A., Ledas, S. & Rasmussen, T. (2012) ‘Sensory Media: Multidisciplinary Approaches in Designing a Situated & Mobile Learning Environment for Past Topics’ in International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM), Vol 6 (2012), pp 18–24 (Open access).

• Liestøl, G., Rasmussen, T. & Stenarson, T. ‘Mobile Innovation: Designing & Evaluatiing Situated Simulations’ in Digital Creativity 2011, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 172–184. Abingdon: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group (2011).

• Liestøl, G. ‘Situated Simulations between Virtual Reality and Mobile Augmented Reality: Designing a Narrative Space’ in B. Furht (Ed.) Handbook of Augmented Reality, Springer (2011).

• Liestøl, G. 'Learning through Situated Simulations: Exploring Mobile Augmented Reality.' (Research Bulletin 1, 2011). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2011 (open access, registration required).

• Fredheim, H. 'Emphasized Landmarks for Mental Calibration in a Mobile Augmented Reality Application' in Kinshuk et. al. (Eds.) Proceedings of Cognition and Exploratory Learning in the Digital Age (CELDA 2010), IADIS Press.

• Fleischer Orkelbog, V. 'Situated Simulation as a Learning Tool – Experiencing Forum Iulium with the iPhone' in Kinshuk et. al. (Eds.) Proceedings of Cognition and Exploratory Learning in the Digital Age (CELDA 2010), IADIS Press.

• Liestøl, G and Rasmussen, T. 'In the Presence of the Past. A field trial evaluation of a situated simulation design reconstructing a viking burial scene' in Szücs, A. and Tait, A. W. (Eds.) Media Inspirations for Learning. Proceedings of EDEN 2010. Budapest: EDEN Secretariat, ℅ Budapest University of Technology an Economics 2010.

• Liestøl, G. 'Situated Simulations: A Prorotyped Augmented Reality Genre for Learning on the iPhone' in International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM), Vol 3 (2009), pp (Open access).

• Liestøl, G. 'Augmented Reality and Digital Genre Design - Situated Simulations on the iPhone' in Proceedings of ISMAR 2009 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality - Arts, Media and Humanities. 19-22 Oct. 2009, pp 29-34.

Designing a Mobile Augmented Reality platform

for exploring locative storytelling and new AR genres.

Project leader: Prof. Gunnar Liestøl

Dept. of Media & Communication, University of Oslo, Norway

In a situated simulation (sitsim) two elements are linked: the user's visual perception of the real physical environment, and the user's visual perception of a 3D graphics environment as displayed on a hand-held screen. The relative congruity between the real and the virtual perspectives is obtained by letting the camera position and movement in the 3D environment be conditioned by the positioning and orientation hardware. As the user moves in real space the perspective inside the 3D graphic environment changes accordingly. A situated simulation requires a smartphone/tablet with good graphics capabilities, GPS-positioning, accelerometer, electronic compass and gyroscope.

A sitsim is closely related to mixed and augmented reality. While mixed reality is characterized by different combinations of virtual and real representations along the reality-virtuality continuum, a situated simulation is a full screen solution where there is a distinct (although minor) difference between the artificial (audio–visual) perspective via the device and the real perspective of the user. This approach is also identified as 'Indirect Augmented Reality'.

Research in SitsimLab follows three parallel and interacting strands: 1) practical development and experimentation with narrative and rhetorical invention in location–based media; 2) exploration of a humanities informed method for digital media design founded on rhetoric as an architectonic productive art; and 3) theoretical understanding of the relationship between the two (former levels). Theory is also central in the method to the extent that analytical concepts form topoi and – in inverted form – serve as rules for construction of new textual features.

Collaboraton and funding

The development and research in SitsimLab is conducted has been conducted in close collaboration with  Šarūnas Ledas at Tag of Joy, Tomas Stenarson at CodeGrind AB, Elpida Hadjidaki (Phalasarna Association), Larry Friedlander (Stanford University), Terje Rasmussen (University of Oslo), Andrew Morrison (AHO), Ole Smørdal (UiO) and Reidar Bertelsen (Museum Nord). The research has been funded by the MaR-e-BoX, Cross Motion and CINE EU–projects; VERDIKT-programme (The INVENTIO-project) and the KLIMAFORSK-programme (The ClimSim-preproject), Norwegian Research Council; EngageLab at University of Oslo; Dept. of Media & Communication and CRMI (Centre for Research om Media Innovations), University of Oslo; ; Arts Council Norway (ABM-utvikling); Oslo Science Park (Forskningsparken) and the EEA-Grant project 'Coastal Memory Fort'.

The Sitsim AR Editor is available for free download!

The Sitsim AR Editor is made to simplify the process of creating sitsim applications. The editor guides the user through a step-by-step process of configuring a sitsim application and adding content. After creating a basic sitsim application, the user is free to add more content or build the application as it is to a device. The Sitsim AR Editor has been created as part of the CINE–project (EU/Interreg).

Awards & Nominations!

The Old Narva App was finalist for The Best in Heritage Imagines Award 2020, and won a GLAMi Award at Museums & the Web 2019 in Boston! The Phalasarna App was Unity Award Finalist in 2015 and the Roman Forum App in 2013 (both in the Visualization/Simulation category).

Video DEMOs

Several short video demonstrations of Sitsim AR apps in use are available online:

Phalasarna 1941 (The Battle of Crete) (2021)

Alonnessos Peristera Ship Wreck (2021)

Old Narva – A Photo Positioning Puzzle (Sitsim DEMO VI, February 2019)

HOW TO use the Omaha Beach app! (March 2018, rough edit)

Omaha Beach – Sitsim DEMO V (June 2017)

Phalasarna – Sitsim DEMO IV (July 2015)

Video sequence of the Via Appia sitsim prototype (April 2014, unedited)

Climate Change – Sitsim DEMO III (February 2014)

Video illustration of the Jerusalem HolyMount sitsim in use (March 2013)

Video clips of the Roman Forum sitsim in use (October 2012, unedited)

Sitsim DEMO II (July 2010)

Situated Simulation DEMO (November 2009).


The project has so far been presented at the following conferences: IMCL 2009, EISTA 2009, ISMAR 2009,ICCE 2009, EDEN 2010, MLearn 2010, CELDA 2010, ScandAR 2010, WARM 2011, ScandAR 2011, Locale & Mobile 2012, CAA 2012, DREAM 2012, MobileHCI2012, EuroMed2012, WARM 2013, Museums and the Web 2013, Nordmedia 2013, Digital Heritage 2013, ISMAR 2013, NODEM 2013, EUROMED 2014, EUscreenXL 2014, VSMM 2014, Condition 2015, EduLearn 2015, WARM 2016, CAA 2016, The Big Picture 2016, EUROMED 2016, World Learning Summit 2017, TOCREA 2017, DCH 2017, HF Under the Mediterranean 2017, ISMI 2017, VSMM 2017, Reality Check 2017, Let's Play with Heritage 2018, Museums and the Web 2018, Digital Heritage Congress 2018, Museums and the Web 2019, Museums and the Web 2020, EuroMed 2022.

Sitsim Apps (free)

'Omaha Beach' (v. 1.1) is available at Apple's App Store.    

'Phalasarna' (v. 1.2) is available at Apple's App Store.