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  1.    #1  
    Nice plug for the pre. App not available on iphone yet.

    To Happen Upon City Landmarks, by Way of an App - NYTimes.com
    To Happen Upon City Landmarks, by Way of an App

    Steven Romalewski stood at the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and West 181st Street in the Bronx the other day and peered at an old church across the street. In the cold, his right thumb slid across the screen of his black Palm Pre phone....
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by To Happen Upon City Landmarks, by Way of an App
    It’s not complicated. For a mobile application, it’s not even very sophisticated. Compare it to the Android app Goggles, which can recognize spots that have been heavily photographed, or another application that provides context about 7,000 landmarks nationwide.
    .. not the best plug
  3. #3  
    I downloaded the Lite version of the NY one, just to see if the Boston one was worth purchasing (honestly, I run out of places to show my parents around when they visit, so something like this would be neat), and I'm not impressed.

    1: The dropdown buttons in the browse by neighborhood button don't do anything, despite every other app that uses the same buttons collapsing or expanding lists.

    2: Other than the names of the landmarks and a photo (which sometimes takes up the space of two entries, for tall pictures-see Chinatown entries), there's absolutely no information in the app other than a link to a Wikipedia article. If I'm using an app for landmark info, I don't want to have to open an external page to find details, but instead have it automatically pulled from Wikipedia into the actual app.

    And then lastly, it's just kind of ugly as far as I'm concerned. If it worked well I could forgive the poor layout and bright blue text in some sections of the app, but it doesn't seem to be as good as I would hope for, and so I can't just gloss over the appearance.
  4. #4  
    jhoff80, sorry you don't like the app. I developed it mainly to be functional rather than pretty, and of course everyone has their own taste when it comes to color, layout, etc. But the app is quite functional, and the paid version is really the one to try because it's focused on locating landmarks near you -- the free version just lists them by name or neighborhood.

    (As it turns out, I think I followed "Derek's app hierarchy" pretty closely. Unfortunately the forum won't let me include a URL to the hierarchy - I fewer than 10 posts - such a newbie! But his article is in yesterday's PreCentral.)

    Also, with the paid version I don't think you'd even notice that the neighborhood drop down buttons don't work, because you'd be focused more on the "search nearby" or "search by address" features. The neighborhood list is just an add-on feature, and I didn't spend too much time on that section. (Though I'll try to enhance for future versions.)

    Regarding the information that's displayed about each landmark, I was limited in this first version of the app by the information that's publicly available from the NYC Landmarks Commission. I'd love to put in more info, but with almost 1,300 landmarks, data entry takes a while Future versions will have more info, such as a news feed, and other features such as landmarks that are threatened by development and/or potential landmarks.

    Too bad you're not in San Francisco, because my version of the app for that city has more info -- such as architect, year built, original use, etc -- for each landmark. The SF landmarks commission provides more data to the public, so I was able to incorporate more into the app. But even clicking on a link to Wikipedia isn't that bad -- you get a wealth of info about the landmark on your phone, even though it's an extra click. And I wouldn't want to weigh down the app itself with all the descriptive info that Wikipedia has already packaged (why reinvent the wheel). So hopefully the Wikipedia links are an added value rather than a burden.

    If you visit my blog (spatialityapps dot com) you'll see screenshots of the Boston version in case you'd like to take a look.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Steve Romalewski
    Spatiality Apps

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