Mobile App - Freedom Trail Boston

Freedom Trail Boston is a mobile app for touring Boston's historic Freedom Trail, first published in July 2012. The content was created by Steve Gladstone based on his book Freedom Trail Boston - Ultimate Tour & History Guide. The app is published under the name Mapocosm and is available for Android on Google Play and for iPhone and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

The app centers on a map of the Boston area showing the actual walking trail. All official Freedom Trail stops are located on the map as well as many other interesting sites along the trail, plus side trips out to Quincy, Cambridge, Lexington and Concord. All stops have essential touring information such as hours of operation and a photo, but also handy links to see the site in Street View, get directions, listen to an audio tour, and dig further into detailed history.

A user can post their experiences along the trail to their Facebook page, and get budget tips or find interesting restaurants along the way. The complete book of Freedom Trail Boston is available within the mobile app, and is full-text searchable. Much of the content is free, but the streaming audio, extended tours, and full history are premium content available through in-app payment.

The app is written from a single JavaScript code base and built into distribution binaries for iOS and Android, using Appcelerator Titanium. Steve Gladstone created the original content for print and Kindle publication using Jutoh.

A set of JavaScript programs hosted on node.js were developed to transform the electronic publication formats to layouts that are suitable for mobile phones, collect the photographs, and perform automatic machine translation using Google Translate API. Local searching and geographic features were incorporated using Google Maps API and Google Places API. The scripts also applied tagging to define the premium content. Some content is bundled into the distribution binaries, and some content (including all audio) is hosted on Amazon S3.

David Asher
Milford, MA

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