Landmarks: NY 2.0 with New York Landmarks Conservancy

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40nycLandmarkFinder320x480We’ve launched a major upgrade to the Landmarks: New York app. We’ve released version 2.0 in collaboration with the New York Landmarks Conservancy, as the Conservancy celebrates its 40th anniversary protecting the iconic buildings and diverse neighborhoods that define New York.

Here are the new features:

  • Reduced price: 99 cents in 2013.
  • More landmarks: the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated 25 new landmarks since the last app update, and we’ve added them all.  These include several firehouses, hotels, banks, a burial ground in Queens, and the Rainbow Room.
  • Landmark data enhanced: several landmarks had been omitted from the city’s database (such as the Federal Reserve Bank building in lower Manhattan and 409 Edgecombe Ave in Harlem), and we’ve added those to the app.  We also corrected the locations of several landmarks (such as St. Michael’s and Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan), and updated the descriptive information for others.  (Thanks to user feedback!)
  • New design and layout: The Landmarks Conservancy provided an iconic photo of the Chrysler Building for the app’s main screen (see above), which inspired us to add some new features to the app:
    • LMNY_v20_streetviewan immersive StreetView option (see screenshot at right — when you tap the image you’ll not only see the landmark but what’s next door and down the street, to help orient you for your walking tours);
    • sharing via Twitter (tweet your landmark!);
    • a camera option to photograph your favorite landmark and share it via Instagram, Tumblr, etc.

What do you think?

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Facebook, Google Street View, and more with Landmarks apps

Our Landmarks apps — for New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco — have been updated with new features that leverage iPhone iOS5 to improve your experience checking out local landmarks in these great cities.  We’ve highlighted the enhancements below.

Google Street View images

When you tap a Street View image for your selected landmark, you see a full view of the image like the examples below.  (Earlier versions of the app only displayed a thumbnail image that was hard to see).  This leverages Google Street View Image API, which provides an easy way of displaying an updated street-level view of any building or location in Google’s mapped database.

New York examples: the Municipal Building …

     

… and the sidewalk clock on 5th Ave and 23rd Street.

     

San Francisco examples: the Octagon House …

     

… and Julius’s Castle in North Beach.

     

Chicago examples: the Tribune Tower (soaring high, but the entrance is equally impressive) …

     

… and the “Pillar of Fire” sculpture commemorating the Fire of 1871.

     

Once you’ve opened the large image, you can’t click on it to move around, but it should give you a great view of the landmark you’re planning to visit — and with the context of buildings on either side of it, making it easier to locate as you’re walking by.

Facebook wall posts

Now each city’s app is integrated with Facebook.  When you’re viewing details for a landmark, the “Share” option now has a Facebook icon.  When you tap it, you’ll log in to Facebook and then post information about each landmark directly to your wall, along with a photo of the landmark (if it’s already in the app) plus a customized note, like the example below:

Share with your friends!

Coming soon…

  1. Twitter, Foursquare, and customized tours?
    1. In the next app update we’re planning to add sharing features such as Twitter and Foursquare, so you can tweet about each landmark you’ve visited and check in to Foursquare for each site.  We also hope to add the ability to save your favorite landmarks and create (and share!) your own walking tours
  2. Take a photo and post to Flickr or Instagram, and share with your local historic preservation office — especially if you see any damage to a landmark or violation of your city’s local preservation ordinance.

Stay tuned!

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Update: Enhancements to Landmarks Chicago app

The Landmarks: Chicago iPhone app is updated (ver. 1.96) with the following new features:

  • New landmarks! (approved by Chicago City Council in October 2011):
    • White Castle #16 at E. Cermak Road,
    • Kenwood United Church of Christ at S. Greenwood Ave., and
    • the latest Schlitz Brewery Tied House at N. Oakley Ave.
  • Facebook is added to the “Share” option for each landmark. You can directly post information about each landmark to your wall, with a customized note.

  • A “tab bar” is added to the map – now you can easily search by location or street, change the map type, and set preferences without leaving the map.
  • A Google Street View image has been added for each landmarked site.
  • Several corrections have been made to Wikipedia links and photo images.
  • Search distance and miles vs. kilometers are now preferences. You don’t have to set these each time you do a search. You can easily change the search radius, and switch from miles to kilometers, from a Preferences button.
  • Overall software updates to improve performance.

See our earlier post about all the app’s features and rich content that you can access while exploring Chicago’s amazing architectural heritage.

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Landmarks: NY iPhone update – version 1.95

The Landmarks: New York app is updated (ver. 1.95) with the following features:

UPDATED LANDMARK INFORMATION

  • Locations are fixed for the Kingsland Homestead in Queens and the Hamilton Grange in Harlem (thanks to user feedback for pointing these out – please send updates/corrections if you have them!), as well as the original Russell Sage Foundation building in Manhattan.
  • Links to Wikipedia and to the official LPC designation reports were added for several sites.
  • Photos from Wikipedia are included for several interesting sites, such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard Dry Dock, St. George’s Episcopal Church after its steeple crash, the Belnord Apartments, and the Mother African Church in Harlem.

IMPROVED SHARE OPTIONS

  • The links to share landmarks information via email and Facebook are easier to access – they’re included as part of each selected landmark’s description.
  • More share options are coming soon: Foursquare and Twitter. Look for these in the next update.

LOCATION ENHANCEMENTS

  • GPS bug fixes.

What do you think?

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Landmarks: NY iPhone update – version 1.9

The latest version (1.9) of Landmarks: New York is now available for the iPhone.  We’ve incorporated lots of new information and enhancements, including:

  • Landmark sites are up-to-date as of October 2011.  One of the latest landmarks (Westbeth in Greenwich Village) is shown in the screenshots below (the “Bell Telephone Lab” site at Washington and Bethune streets):

  

  • Facebook is added to the “Share” option for each landmark. You can directly post information about each landmark to your wall, with a customized note.  Here’s what you’ll see when you post to your wall:

  • Updates include rejected landmarks. In September 2011 the New York City Council overturned the landmark designation for the Hardenbrook-Somarindyck House at 135 Bowery in Manhattan, even though the Landmarks Commission designated this landmark just 3 months earlier [PDF]. This is the 3rd landmark designation rejected by the Council since 1998. These rejected sites are now added to the app, with a note about their designation status.
  • Many new photos have been added, and current ownership and land use information has been updated as of the NYC 2011/2012 assessment roll.  Examples below:

  

  • Search distance and miles vs. kilometers are now preferences. You don’t have to set these each time you do a search. You can easily change the search radius, and switch from miles to kilometers, from a Preferences button:

  • A “tab bar” is added to the map. Now you can easily search by location or street, change the map type, and set preferences without leaving the map.  You can also display different basemaps from Google:

   

  • A Google Street View image has been added for each landmarked site.
  • Overall software updates to improve performance.

What do you think?

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Landmarks: Chicago for the iPhone

Visiting Chicago this summer?  Want to learn more about the windy city’s impressive architectural history?  Make sure to bring your iPhone and the Landmarks: Chicago app to check out the city’s historic icons — from skyscrapers in the Loop to Wrigley Field to residential homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Landmarks: Chicago lists the official landmarked buildings and sites near you (you select how far you want to search), or by address, or just by clicking on the map.  There are 300 local landmarks designated by the city, so plan your walking tours now! The app tells you when each landmark was designated (some as far back as 41 years!), provides detailed info plus links to the Chicago Landmarks website & Wikipedia.  It also displays thumbnail photos from Wikipedia for most of the sites, plus links to hi-res images. You can view the locations on a map, and share details about the landmark directly from the app with your friends and others.

Search options Search results displayed on a map …

… or in a list (with street address, and how far each one is from you, and in what direction)

Click a landmark on the map (or from the list) to get detailed info about each one:

Some interesting sites include residential houses (like the King-Nash House):

… prominent theaters:

… and monuments such as the Statue of the Republic:

Detailed info for each landmark includes:

  • photo
  • location map
  • architect
  • year built
  • any modifications made to the original design
  • year it was officially designated
  • Google Map to quickly locate the landmark

(Data from the City of Chicago, supplemented and improved by Spatiality Apps, current 2011.)

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Customer reviews and more

We’ve received our first customer reviews for Landmarks: New York for the iPhone.  They’re great, keep ‘em coming!   I’ve posted them below, and also posted below some links to blogs that have featured the app:

“Great idea, executed perfectly! (5 stars)” – by louisamaynyc

This app isn’t just about the landmarks we all know (the Empire State Bldg, etc.) It’s about ALL the major and minor landmarked properties in NYC. Within a 1/2 mile of my office, I could check out the Gorham Building, Teddy Roosevelt’s birthplace, and a whole bunch of other locations I’ve passed (and probably ignored) daily. Impress your friends and your kids with your detailed knowledge of NYC history with this cool app!

Very Thorough Information (4 stars) – by blinkd

I was suprised that there were were no less than 24 landmarks within just a 1/4 mile of my apartment! Just the other day I noticed a couple of interesting buildings in my neighborhood, a couple of blocks away and yep they were in there. This is a must have app for historian buffs or for folks that just want to know more about the history of their neighborhood. I only knocked off a star because the detailed information on the historic sites was sometimes buried a bit too deep in PDFs which wasn’t so great for reading on an iphone. There is some great information in there if you dig around enough to find it.

The “New-York Mania!” blog (in French) says the iPhone version is “1.59 euros, a bargain!”

The “All Points Blog” from Directions Magazine highlights the New York Times article about the app.

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NYC Location Based Apps Meetup

Last night I had the opportunity to demo Landmarks: New York to the Location Based Apps meetup in New York.  It was a great crowd, made lots of good contacts, and the response about the app was positive.

The session review is here, and my presentation is shown below (hint: click the View full-size presentation button at the bottom right to see the slide-to-slide animations):

Another demo’er – Phil Thomas DiGuilio of Pegshot – took a pic of my talk:

The meeting featured SimpleGeo, which is a great service for location based mobile apps.  We may incorporate some features and/or data using SimpleGeo in the future.

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Landmarks: San Francisco for the iPhone

Visiting San Francisco this summer?  Make sure to bring your iPhone and the Landmarks: San Francisco app to check out the city’s historic icons — from the Golden Gate Bridge to the City Lights Bookstore.

Landmarks: San Francisco lists the official landmarked buildings and sites near you (you select how far you want to search), or by address, or just by clicking on the map.  There are more than 200 local landmarks designated by the city, so plan your walking tours now!

The app tells you when each landmark was designated (some as far back as 40 years!), provides detailed info plus links to the NoeHill website & Wikipedia.  It also displays thumbnail photos from Wikipedia for more than 60 landmarks, plus links to hi-res images. You can view the locations on a map, and share details about the landmark directly from the app with your friends and others.

Search options

Search results on a map …

… or in a list (with street address, and how far each one is from you, and in what direction)

You set the search radius (in miles or kilometers):

Click a landmark on the map (or from the list)…

… to get detailed info about each one

Detailed info includes:

  • photo if available from Wikipedia
  • architect and architectural style
  • year built
  • original owner and original use
  • year it was officially designated
  • Google Map to quickly locate the landmark

(Data from San Francisco Planning Department, current 2011)

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Landmarks: NY iPhone update – version 1.5

Here’s what’s new with Landmarks: New York (version 1.5):

1) More info

The app now includes 700+ thumbnail photos of NYC landmarks from Wikipedia (and you can view the full photos without closing the app).

We’ve also updated descriptions for hundreds of sites throughout the city — identifying how many landmarks are:

  • current or former places of worship or their interiors (151);
  • museums, museum interiors, or other historical/cultural sites (49);
  • public libraries or library interiors (23);
  • current or former school facilities, other than colleges or universities (54);
  • current or former theatres or theater interiors (77);
  • current or former NYC Police Department facilities (14); and
  • current or former NYC Fire Department facilities (17).
  • currently owned by a foreign government (13).

The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission added the latest city landmark on April 12 — St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church complex in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – and we’ve included it in the app.

2) More search options

We’ve added an “On the Map” search option. Now you can search anywhere on the map just by tapping its center.  Move the map, zoom in or out, and just tap the bullseye .  See the screen shots below:

We also added a 2 mile (or 2 kilometer) search radius option — see screen shot at right.  This can be especially useful for locating landmarks outside Manhattan.

3) Site specific maps

Each landmark profile now includes a site-specific locator map.  When you tap a landmark from the map or in a list, you can see at a glance where it’s located. See example below.

What do you think?

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