Imagine taking a walking tour where the buildings you’re looking at come to life.

That’s what Snapchat is unveiling with a new augmented reality (AR) experience in Santa Monica called Broadway to Freeway.

The visual walking tour tells the story of a thriving community of color in Santa Monica that was erased by the development of the 10 freeway in the 1960s.

To access the tour, you scan a QR code or open the Snapchat app and look for the lens. The tour has several stops on a map, and you look through your phone to bring the history of the area to life with audio, photos, and more.

The tour is being released to honor Juneteenth.

“We think it’s critical because so many people don’t know the history of their own local communities,” said Jasson Crockett, Snap Public Policy Manager.

Jasson Crockett, Snap Public Policy Manager.

The tour was created in partnership with the Quinn Research Center, which exists to study black family history and culture in the Santa Monica Bay area.

“It’s so exciting to be able to take our exhibition outside of the museum and place it where it actually happened,” said Rob Schwenker, Executive Director of the Santa Monica History Museum.

Rob Schwenker, Executive Director of the Santa Monica History Museum

AR is a powerful tool that can be used to bring history to life in a unique way. The Broadway to Freeway AR experience is a great example of how AR can be used to tell important stories and connect people with their communities.

It’s an easy way to get immersed in history and a compelling way to learn.

“You’re walking past this building that you never would have thought twice about and now that you understand and you know the history of this building you can empathize with the people that live in this community,” concluded Courtney Taylor, an AR developer with Andre Elijah Immersive.

They created many of the graphics used in the experience using a Snap tool called Lens Studio.