The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture has a free Web application, “app” for short, for the Historic Browne’s Addition Walking Tour. The walking tour has been available as a printed booklet, but local information systems developer Bob Hansen came up with the idea for an app, which is available through the museum’s website.
Hansen said he’s been working on it for some years, and was looking for a project to showcase what his app can do.
“This is my first full-fledged implementation of this app,” said Hansen. “The way things worked out, it became a tour, but I have a much broader perspective than that.”
The walking tour is also available as an eBook from the museum’s website. Downloading the eBook makes it possible to do the tour without an Internet connection, because the book is in the smartphone or tablet computer.
“There are so many areas within museums where communication can be difficult,” said Hansen. “If you download an eBook for a field guide, for instance, then you can go out in the field and not worry about cell phone reception because you have everything right there in your phone or computer.”
There are 54 properties listed on the walking tour and the historic content was compiled by Jim Price, community historian, writer and experienced walking tour guide.
The walking tour app is simple to navigate, and can be done in great or lesser detail, with the average tour taking about one hour. The properties are highlighted with photos, some of them historical, and a short story about each place. There’s also a glossary featuring additional architectural style information.
The MAC has just launched online access to more than 1,400 objects in its collections, and has several online exhibits under way.