The California Historical Landmarks App is a smartphone applications that makes the history of California available to the general public. It features a database of over 800 state landmarks that have been dedicated to historic preservation. These features include: an easy to use map interface within viewing the landmarks, the ability to “favorite” specific landmarks, check-in, add a photo, quickly jot personal notes about specific features, and the app alerts users when they are approaching a landmark. As part of the app’s selling point, they argue that “When most think of The Golden State, they picture Hollywood or one of California’s iconic beaches, but few are quick to recognize the rich history the state encapsulates.” Thus, I quickly downloaded the free version (CALandmarks Lite) and located the nearest site, which is Fremont State Park. It tells me that I am 8.2 miles from it, I can get directions, and add a photo of my own or from the Library. The “Gallery” portion of the app is not available on the free download, but I assume that it shows photos taken at this site. Underneath the map, there is a short history of Fremont Peak and its discovery. The “real” app costs $ 0.99 and offers Standard, Hybrid, or Satellite map options. Users could search in the Landmarks page by name, by Counties, or by browsing the map and checking the pinpointed areas.
The creator of the site is Enola Labs, an Austin, Texas based technology consulting firm. They offer web development and hybrid solutions, native mobile application development on iOS and Android, legacy systems migration, architecture and custom software development, digital strategy, and technical consulting services for organizations. They have created another similar app for Texas Historical Landmarks.
Since, I am about to leave on a three-day trip to Death Valley, I will try out this app and continue the report to better layout the theory of history that they are putting forward. What I am expecting is being able to read about the place I am at, as I am viewing it, thus experiencing a more immediate and direct connection to the place.