Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Coming Soon: The Spokane History Mobile App

We have an exciting new project here at the Public History program at Eastern Washington University. We will soon be unveiling a smartphone app--for both iPhone and Android--that will offer tours of historic sites around Spokane and the region.

The Spokane Historical app will be an adaptation of an existing app, Cleveland Historical. At a conference a couple of months ago I met Mark Tebeau, Director of the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University. He is doing a bunch of neat digital stuff with his students, including the Cleveland Historical app. He was looking for a few partners to expand the reach of his app. I had been looking for a mobile platform for which my students could develop local content. Perfect!

Here is a YouTube that demonstrates the app. I like that it can have text, photographs, audio and video for each site. There is a YouTube channel with all of the short history videos that they have developed. Here is the YouTube promo for Cleveland Historical:

My students last quarter created a series of historical tours of 5-8 stops each. They did the EWU campus, Spokane Falls, Manito Park, Greenwood Cemetery, Bing Crosby's Spokane, Peaceful Valley, Kirtland Cutter buildings, and the Spokane Downtown. The Center for Public History and Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University will be providing some technical support including rebranding their apps and releasing them as "Spokane Historical," creating an Omeka database (here it is) for the content, and providing the training materials they have developed to my students.

Spokane Historical should be available in the iTunes store and Android marketplace this summer. I am very excited and have a lot to do, including raising some money, partnering with other Spokane institutions (interested? email me!), developing some logos and branding, and above all working with my students to develop some first-class mobile history tours. I will keep all of you informed!

In a few days I will post some of the content that my students created.

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