May 10, 2016

Philadelphia woman's augmented reality app takes aim at George W. Bush legacy

Ellen Chenoweth created app to add context to museum exhibits

A Philadelphia woman is using technology to add her version of American history into the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Ellen Chenoweth, who was born and educated in Texas, created the George W. Bush – Presidential Library Augmented Reality Project, which adds a bit of context to the exhibits in the museum.

Alex Macon of D Magazine provided an in-depth look at the project:

"An “augmented reality project” launching Friday aims to give museum guests a more nuanced understanding of Bush’s two terms. Using the Layar app, visitors can point their smartphone or tablet at one of 10 “trigger locations” in the museum. The George W. Bush – Presidential Library Augmented Reality Project will then feature information that corresponds to a particular display, covering everything from the 2000 election to the war on terror."

Chenoweth admits she is "not a professional historian," but she wanted visitors to have access to information the museum left out.

On the project's website, Chenoweth shares her quandary:

"How could you talk about the Iraq War without mentioning the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib? The PATRIOT Act without any mention of the national debate over safety vs. civil liberties? And how could you discuss two terms of the Bush presidency while hardly mentioning Vice President Dick Cheney, one of the most powerful Vice Presidents in American history?"

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened in April 2013 and is located on the Southern Methodist University campus in University Park, Texas.

Read more about the George W. Bush – Presidential Library Augmented Reality Project here.