Dinosaurs come alive with augmented reality

Article image - Dinosaurs come alive with augmented reality Image via City of Armadale, Western Australia; the council had several registered parks.

Throughout National Parks Week, local councils across Australia and New Zealand utilised technology to get kids outdoors.

To celebrate the week, held from 4 to 12 March, many local governments transformed their parks into prehistoric playgrounds, allowing local kids to roam with digital dinosaurs.

After downloading the Magical Park app onto their smart phone or tablet, residents could visit nominated local parks and participate in the interactive, augmented reality games.

Activities included collecting dinosaur eggs or walking through a fantasyland of fairies and unicorns.

An initiative of Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) and the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA), it is hoped the Magical Park app would encourage residents to engage with local parks on an ongoing basis.

PLA chief executive Mark Band said local governments should develop forward-thinking strategies about how to encourage residents to engage with parks.

“Many councils understand the value of investing in parks, but we want to highlight [throughout] this week that there is a lot more we can and should be doing to maintain and develop these green spaces in our urban areas.”

NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie said that increased use of technology doesn’t have to discourage people from going outside.
“We believe combining outdoor play with technology can motivate kids to get off the couch and be more physically active.

“We can’t reverse technology or progress, nor should we try.

“What we can do is create healthy relationships with technology by using the screen to get kids outdoors and moving around.”
Close to 100 local parks across Australia and New Zealand were registered to participate in the Magical Park Challenge.