Historical App Helps Visitors Interact With Utah Monument
The 100 year anniversary of the National Parks will be celebrated next year. To help visitors prepare, there’s a new interactive app that shares information about the nation’s parks, including those in Utah.
The Next Exit History app allows users to find historical markers around the country on their phone.
Tim Roberts, a project manager for the app and a research historian with Historical Research Associates, said the app started out as an effort to record local history. Now it has grown to having 60,000 sites around the country.
“The idea was, you know, people fly down the interstate or roads all the time and right off the highway is some of the most interesting regional and local history that you could possibly think of,” Roberts said.
Over the summer, Next Exit History traveled to the Utah-Colorado border and created interactive content in the form of games and quizzes to go along with Dinosaur National Monument.
“The idea really being to get someone to interact a little bit more with the cultural landscape rather than being kind of a passive observer—actually getting involved with it,” Roberts said.
Michelle Richoll was part of the graduate-student team from the University of West Florida that traveled to eastern Utah and created the trivia questions and a scavenger hunt to go along with the Monument’s fossils and displays.
“It really does tell the whole story of the park itself,” Richoll said. “It’s not just about the history or just the environment. Each site kind of works into a giant collective process to tell the story.”
The app features more than 15 Utah historical sites including those in Leeds, Washington City, and Topaz.