Whether you’re wandering through must-see summer art exhibits, taking guided tours or just chatting with a bartender, one of the best parts about traveling is learning the history of the place you’re visiting. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a solo travel adventure, traveling with your boo or traveling with friends, we’re all naturally inclined to find connections in new places. That’s why tech professional and avid traveler Rainer Boelzle created GEOTALE, a mobile app that “allows users to learn about and add to the history of various known and unknown places and landmarks of interest.” We got a chance to chat with Rainer about his hopes and plans for the recently released crowdsourced app.
With a German father and Colombian mother, the San Diego resident has the travel bug in his blood. But he realized one day that it would “be cool to discover history in my own neighborhood,” rather than having to travel across the world to enrich his understanding of the world. And the idea for GEOTALE was born. Very cool, indeed.
As soon as you open the app, you’re given points of interest near your current location in either map view or photo list view. Clicking on the dropped pins or photographs will take you to that site’s specific historical story. Right now, the only dropped pins and info on historical significance in the new app are from Wikipedia, which Rainer included to encourage users to start pinning their own digital historical points of interest.
GEOTALE will help people bring places to life with local stories as they travel or even rediscover their hometowns. Rainer is committed to crowdsourcing stories for the app, determined that “human history should not be defined solely by historians and governments alone, but rather by real people telling their own experiences and offering unique insights and information about a place.” All user-added stories are immediately pinned without any in-app verification process. Instead, Rainer is keeping GEOTALE peer-reviewed, allowing members of the community to either ask the poster to clarify a story or flag a story that they find inappropriate.
Stories are organized by type, and users can easily filter their map results so they only see pins connected to their personal interests. So, if you want to know where every author penned their famous novels, but don’t care about professional athletes’ high school championship wins, you can organize your GEOTALE accordingly. It’s like making your own historical walking tour based solely on your personal interests.
Rainer set up two ways to add stories to make it as simple for users as possible. You can add stories and edit from your computer once you’re back home, or pin stories remotely as they happen, so that you don’t lose details. Soon, Rainer hopes to add a “footprint” feature to the app, allowing you to follow other users you find particularly interesting. We can’t wait to contribute some of our own travel tales!
Would you use GEOTALE to guide you on a vacation or add in some tales of your own? Tag us in your next vacation pic on Instagram using the hashtag #iamcreative!
(Photos via GEOTALE)