Monday, December 22, 2014

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App Wrap: 'Central Park,' 'Building Inspector'

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NY1 highlights the coolest and newest apps for your cell phone or mobile device in the twice-weekly segment "App Wrap." NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.

Central Park

There's two New York City centric apps that perhaps hold equal appeal to those who live in the Big Apple and those who don't. The first is an update to the official Central Park App. It has a more robust lists of events, points of interest, plus the GPS for getting you around the park has been beefed up. But, the new big wow factor, when learning about park landmarks near you, you get an audio tour but not just any audio tour. Look at the bottom and you'll see each one is presented by a celebrity, peppered with some of their own experiences and why they think that spot is special, like one from Yoko Ono on Strawberry Fields. The official Central Park app, put out by the Central Park Conservancy, is free for iOS and Android devices.

Building Inspector

The New York Public Library has a new web app called Building Inspector that's not a game, not a practical tool, but rather a way for you to help the library with a cutting edge project. It has computers scouring old maps trying to interpret what they mean and what they're showing. Why are they doing this you might ask? Well, eventually, the museum would like to help create an app kinda like Google maps but for the past so that, with your smartphone, you could be walking around anywhere as if you were walking around there 100 or 200 years ago - see old streets, or information on everything you’re seeing. Problem is, the computer is apparently having issues reading the maps properly so you are asked to help. After a brief tutorial, evaluate the computer’s decisions: Is it outlining buildings properly? Is it identifying buildings properly? Is it placing the right numbers on buildings? You can even help redraw lines the computer may have botched. Again, this is a web app so if you’re interested in helping, head over to ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP