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Georgia Southern Designs Historical Markers App for Smartphones

4-18 Georgia Southern designs historical markers app for smartphonesGeorgia Southern University has just launched a new Georgia Historical Markers smartphone application that will allow historians and visitors to easily locate and explore Georgia’s more than 2,500 historical markers. Georgia Southern partnered with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA)  in the development of this application.

This is the most comprehensive application of its kind for the state of Georgia and will allow users who download the app, the ability to search for markers of interest using their mobile phone. The app is available for Android, iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini and iPod Touch devices. To locate the app, search “Georgia Historical Markers” on your smartphone’s app store and look for the Georgia Peach logo.

The app, designed to support tourism and ultimately economic development in the state, includes several unique features that make locating and learning about Georgia’s history easier than ever. The app provides users with the opportunity to search for historical markers in Georgia based on location, marker text, or both. Users can also use a smartphone’s built-in location services to identify markers closest to their location. Users may view the results in a list or on a map. Each marker location includes an image of the marker as well as a detailed description of the historical site.

“This is just the beginning,” said Steve Burrell, vice president for information technology and chief information officer at Georgia Southern. “Our goal is to continue to add additional features to the app that will make learning about our state’s history even more fun and exciting, with the goal of helping attract more tourists to Georgia.”

“We created a Georgia Historical Marker website more than 10 years ago to promote historical education and tourism,” said Terry Jackson, director for DCA’s mapping programs. “It is one of our most visited websites, so when Georgia Southern University approached us with the idea for a mobile phone application we were immediately impressed with their vision and knew right away that we wanted to partner with them.”

DCA Programmer Mathew John noted that, “This was a challenging project where we used new spatial database types and web services to deliver information to the mobile app. It was a great opportunity to collaborate with the visionary and talented developers at Georgia Southern.”

While just launched, updates are already planned, including the ability to mark off which sites you have visited so that you can follow your progress. “This has the potential to turn into a scavenger hunt of sorts,” said Burrell. “We envision parents and teachers making great use of this application for educating children and turning routine trips into adventures in Georgia history.”

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs partners with local governments on many initiatives to promote job creation, provide housing and build better communities. Visit www.dca.ga.gov for more information.

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