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Mobile App creation for National Parks is being done by parks, partners, cooperating associations, Harpers Ferry Center, non-profits, universities, and third-party developers. Most of the current apps are focused on orientation, wayfinding, and activity planning rather than interpretation and education.
Parks have independently created apps that include site information and audio guides and are published by developers or partners. Partners and cooperating associations have created apps with outside developers that are mainly commercial and charge for initial download or in-app purchases.
The Harpers Ferry Center, in partnership with individual parks, has published National Park Service branded apps that include interpretive site information, wayfinding, and audio tours. Non-profits such as the National Geographic have created an award winning app that provides photo and activity planning information for 20 National Parks. Universities have partnered with multiple parks on the creation of wayfinding and immersive augmented experience apps. Fort Vancouver, working with the Washington State University and other partners, has been developing an augmented experience app for the site that includes interactive videos, gps scavenger hunt, and exploration of collections. Third-party developer apps are mainly taking the form of enhanced tour books similar to what the print publishers have traditionally provided parks. The vast majority of these apps are released for iOS, the Apple iPhone and iPad operating systems, with a limited dual release on the Android OS. Park app downloads for iOS make up around 80% of downloads .
Boston National Historical App
HFC facilitated the creation of the official app for Boston National Historical Park and Boston African American National Historic Site. On your next visit to Boston, use it to explore the "Trails to Freedom" and to help create your own, special experience of Historic Boston.
National Mall & Memorial Parks App
This is the official National Park Service National Mall app, created by HFC for the National Mall and Memorial Parks sites. On your next visit to Washington, D.C., use it to explore many of the most cherished cultural and historical sites in the United States—from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House.