We hear stories of people getting lost or running into dead end streets because they are too religiously following their GPS or smart phone directions. And I’ve definitely been to dinner a couple of times in groups with one or two people who wouldn’t get off their phone. However, some smart phone apps can be useful and engaging, such as apps that encourage people to get out into nature. Inhabitat offered a write-up of one such app that’s tied into the U.S. park system.
Okay, so the article is totally written as a pitch to sell the app, but why not? This is an actually somewhat useful app that gets people more engaged with nature!
Many of us remember spending summers driving to lakes, hiking with the family and camping in the great outdoors, but some of today’s kids would rather spend some alone time with their iPhones than with Mother Nature. ParksByNature’s apps engage the gaming set with an interactive tour guide called The Pocket Ranger. Available in the free Lite Version or the upgraded Pro Version ($3.99), the app features park information, weather alerts, a social network to share favorite spots and photos in real time, and safety features like Friend Finder and Alert Feature, which helps coordinate rescues if a natural disaster were to strike.
The Pro version has guided tours and hikes with GPS tracking, downloadable detailed maps and best of all, supports the park directly. ParksByNature shares the fee with the parks system and Friends of State Parks, a nonprofit partner.
They are also planning to expand to zoos, museums, and other nature experiences.
Now I just wish they’d make one for all us non-iPhone aficionados.