J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

“Mapping Revolutionary Boston” on Your iPhone

The Bostonian Society has unveiled a free iPhone app for its “Mapping Revolutionary Boston” website. As shown above, this site uses the 1769 map of Boston as the platform for sharing the stories of people, places, and political events of the town. Clicking on each of the colored pins in the app or website brings up information about what happened there.

I understand the next version of the app will include G.P.S. data, allowing users to match colonial-era locations with today’s crossroads. After all, the city’s topography and street names have changed so much that it’s virtually unrecognizable. For now, orient yourself by the contours of the Common (which hasn’t changed), surviving landmarks like the Old State House, and the fact that the road down the Neck is now known as Washington Street.

I was one of the many people involved in creating content for “Mapping Revolutionary Boston.” (I have neither the skills nor the responsibility for the programming.) For next few days, I’ll pluck some stories from those pins and expand on them.

4 comments:

Cornwallis said...

Any chance this is coming to the Droid?

Tyson Frantz said...

Great little app! This will come in handy next time I'm bored out walking around.

Fibro Witch said...

I am looking forward to hearing more about the program. I don't have a smart phone, so I guess I'll just have to rely on memory.

Daud said...

@ Cornwallis: As a Bostonian Society employee and Android user, I can say that the hope is that it will come to droid in the future. However,due to a shortage of funding, it probably wont be very soon.