Fort Vancouver National Park, in an effort to engage park visitors through technology sought to have a mobile app developed that would allow visitors to interact with physical locations throughout the park. The app would act as a virtual Park Ranger guiding visitors through the various way points and landmarks to deliver an interactive educational experience. To fulfill the requirements of the grant proposal, user interactions would need to be archived and accessible for analysis.
Being a grant project, we have limited resources and strict guidelines to adhere to--budget constraints, hard-data reporting mechanisms, scheduling, and content production. As a result, the project will require exceptional attention to detail in the planning and discovery phase. An ideal approach is to have the same code base for both Android and iPhone platforms, and for this reason we plan to leverage the Phonegap and Sencha Touch technologies.
A first-of-its-kind app, the app requires multiple design phases including regular user testing intervals and UI functionality reviews.
Throughout this project we ventured to Fort Vancouver National Park conducting on-site interviews and beta testing with visitors to guide the subsequent development phases. Utilize Node.js, Phone Gap, SPA, PHP, MySQL and jQuery.
The virtual Park Ranger arrived on scene at Fort Vancouver and was an instant success, evidenced in its numerous accolades and awards including its recently being honored with the 2013 John Wesley Powell Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government. The Fort Vancouver mobile app has quickly established itself as a pioneer in exploring the new frontier of education and discovery for National Parks.