Compass of species Bringing diversity to life with the smartphone

The new compass of species (Artenkompass) brings diversity to life in a playful and intriguing way. By way of multimedia, plants and animals can be discovered on one’s smartphone, computer or on signboards all over Vienna.

The compass of species shines the spotlight on fascinating animals and plants. On the species, interesting, but also humorous stories are told that are often not that well-known. In the compass of species, the smartphone, the computer and the Wikitude app are converged to create a multimedia experience of nature brought to the “smartphone generation”. The compass of species is a project devised in the framework of the campaign vielfaltleben (diversity of life).

Objective: Discovering the diversity of species in a playful way

The aim of the project is to sharpen the senses especially of urban dwellers and to arouse their interest in nature right at their doorstep without being schoolmasterly. The main target group of the campaign are adolescents and young adults as well as young families. In a playful way, the compass of species is to raise awareness for the fact that nature and species diversity are close at hand even in Vienna. 

Not only exotic animals and cute bunnies, but also hardly-well-known domestic species are valuable and deserve protection.

Innovative technology: New media, multimedia features

Signboards at 10 locations in Vienna provide information on the project and on the respective species. Key data and an interesting story allow for a straightforward introduction into the topic of diversity. Via a QR code and a link, more in-depth information and multimedia contents can be retrieved on-site, and also the route to the locations of other signboards can be calculated. If visitors do not come across a certain animal, the species can also be checked out directly on the smartphone. Specifically for the compass of species, the ten species were tracked down, photographed and introduced in short videos in cooperation with Wiener Wildnis.

How does the compass of species work?

You will need an IOS 7/Android 4 operating system. Download the free “Wikitude” app from the App Store or from Google Play.

Enter “Artenkompass” (compass of species) as a search term in the Wikitude app and go to the camera symbol. After that, you can use the compass of species like a compass (just as the name suggests). The species (boards) will appear, indicating the direction and distance from the current location. On the map, the active species (i.e. the species that is currently searched) is indicated by a red dot, and the route to this location can thus be planned smoothly, starting from the current location. A link will guide you to the respective landing page for the species in question. For an overview of ALL SPECIES, please go to the left-hand upper corner of the screen. Click on the central upper icon for a map indicating all signboards. Under “i” for information, a route recommendation is given for a pedestrian route, a public-transport route or a bike route that can all be selected according to the time respectively available.