Tech Talk: CaliParks App Makes Finding Parks Across The State A Snap
For those of us living in California’s more urban locales, finding a little slice of outdoor serenity among the cosmopolitan chaos can seem impossible. But whether you’re looking for a local place to play some basketball or planning a camping trip in one of the state’s most beautiful natural settings, there’s an app that makes the search a snap.
CaliParks is California’s first park finder app that helps users find the perfect place to fit their outdoorsy needs. Combining data from the California Protected Areas Database, GreenInfo Network, and Hipcamp with social media content from Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, and Foursquare, CaliParks manages to include information for every one of the 11,826 parks in the state. The web-based app draws on social media data from more than half a million users to round out its impressive database and offers more than just facts and locations for each destination. CaliParks also links to trip planner technology from Apple and Google, allowing users to discover new locations, plan a getaway, share images and comments, and invite friends along for the fun.
Developed by San Francisco-based Stamen Design, CaliParks is driven by a user-centered approach to design, incorporating an easy=to-use platform that enables users to find their ideal parks by specifying their preferred activity. Available in both English and Spanish, the app incorporates data for 816 national, state, and regional parks, not to mention all 5,447 urban parks all across the state. CaliParks is also a useful tool for park agencies to understand how people are already using these outdoor spaces, and how they can further foster public engagement with new communities.
Although the app is still undergoing testing and refinement, you can access the first version of CaliParks through any browser on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop at CaliParks.org.