The mapFINDS app (Free) specifically focuses on material for the State of Ohio and was developed to serve as OCLC’s entry in Tech Ohio’s Mobile Apps Development Contest. It combines Ohio history with digitized historical material from a number of sources to make for a cool app and show off a great idea.
After you read this post (and perhaps give the app a try) it’s easy to see that mapFINDS could be developed other states, countries, regions, etc.
Imagine having an Ohio history expert and research librarian in your pocket. You can stroll through Oberlin’s campus and view Carnegie Library postcards from the 1930s. Or visit Grandview Heights High School and see a yearbook page from 1985. Read stories of Confederate soldiers escaping from the Union penitentiary in Columbus. Or explore the shores of Lake Erie and read current research about its unique ecosystems of fish and wildlife.
Institutions like the Library of Congress, the State Library of Ohio, and the Ohio Historical Society have made digital reproductions of culturally significant photographs, documents, and recordings freely available over the Internet. [Our Emphasis] The mapFINDS Ohio app will use OCLC’s WorldCat Search web services to present these materials to you based on their location and search criteria. It will also provide you the ability to mark favorite items of interest, enhancing your later searches.
mapFINDS could be a great way to not only learn history but also provide a place for experts to curate collection collection and provide mobile access to some of the great digitized content available on the web. So, in addition to the history and content it could be used as a marketing tool.
The digital humanities community is likely to be of many groups who will appreciate the concept.