Going To New Orleans For #NABJ12? Check Out The Black History Mobile App

An iconic New Orleans balcony. Photo courtesy of Katjusa Cisar via Flickr.

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

Back in November 2010, NABJ member and digital journalism pioneer Retha Hill won a $12,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs program.  Hill, director of the New Media Innovation Lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, used her grant to create the Mobile Black History Project app. You can see her presentation of the app here.

The app offers an augmented reality view of prominent black history sites in 12 cities, including New Orleans, where NABJ will hold its annual convention next week.  “When NABJers are out and about in New Orleans, they can look through the lens of their smartphone and find out about all kinds of interesting African-American history,” said Hill.  “They can discover, for example, the home of Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez, the founder of the first black daily newspaper in the U.S., or the Cheval House, which was once home to the free person of color who invented a way of refining sugar.”

To access the app, download the Layar browser (available for iOS and Android devices) then search for “black history.” After your mobile’s GPS determines your location, the app can direct you to nearby points of interest, providing historic images, video and other information.  Below is a YouTube video demonstrating how the video works.

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