For the mobile exploring activity for module #8, I chose to explore the mobile app called Clio. This app uses GIS to curate a guide to the museums and historic sites near the user. The website claims to have a total of 37,456 entries of different historic sites all over the country. New entries are made every day, so this is an ever-growing mobile site. When I downloaded the app on my phone, the app tracked my location and found 945 historic sites within 50 miles of my location, and the site highlighted the top 10 locations. There was a google map showing the top 10 locations with the ability to click on each pin to bring up more information about each particular historic site. I noticed that one of the locations was Mason Neck State Park and I clicked on that one and the information provided was their hours, a brief overview of the site, a few pictures, and the site on a google map. I clicked back out to the main page and was curious why Gunston Hall did not show up as that is very close to Mason Neck State Park and is a prominent historic site near me. I was able to use the search bar to specifically search for Gunston Hall and it popped up. This entry had more information than the Mason Neck State Park one had, including an inside look at the mansion with google maps, and several links to additional information about the site.
Overall, I felt this mobile app was very user friendly and was easily able to find out information about the historic site closest to my location. While every entry for the historic sites will vary in the amount of information and what features are included, the Gunston Hall entry had the interactive google maps look of the inside of the mansion which I found to be an extra cool feature. This app is using location based services to connect users with the history and culture that is around their location, and may connect a user with a site that the user may not have known about before. This app offers a basic overview of information about various historic sites while connecting users with history in their area. The google map feature is the cornerstone of the location based technology for Clio, which many users will already be familiar with, making it an easy tool to use. This mobile app does not specifically focus on one area, but rather offers little bits of information about thousands of historic sites around the country. With the bits of information on each entry, the user can click on additional links to learn more about that location as well as click through images of the site. Some of the historic site entries even have the option of taking a walking tour, which was not included on the Gunston Hall entry. I will continue to use Clio in my future endeavors as I can pull the app up and find out more information about the historic sites around my location with ease.