California State Parks Launches New Mobile App

Press release from the California Department of Parks and Recreation:

CA PARKS BIODIVERSITY

One of the newly designed posters created in collaboration with Parks California for the Virtual Adventurer app.

California State Parks [on June 6] launched Virtual Adventurer, a new mobile app that will transform how park visitors connect to and interact with the iconic places, deep history and diverse cultural and natural landscapes of California. This augmented reality app transports visitors through time, and its virtual reality experiences offer exciting ways for users to explore new perspectives shared by people who continue to call California home.

“We’re excited to launch the Virtual Adventurer app that further provides opportunities for Californians to access the cultural, historic and natural resources found across our beautiful state,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “The app also supports and enhances the department’s Reexamining Our Past Initiative by developing content for parks that tells a more complete, accurate and inclusive history of people and places.”

From storytelling, to holograms, to 3D images and reconstructions, the Virtual Adventurer app offers unique journeys through nine participating state parks. For example, the public can download and travel through Coyote Canyon in today’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, with Maria Jacinta Bastida, an Afro-Latina woman traveling with the Juan Bautista De Anza expedition, or see Chinatown reemerge from the sagebrush at Bodie State Historic Park. The public can continue to check the app regularly as more adventures and stories will be added to the existing parks, as well as more park units will be added to explore.

The Virtual Adventurer app is also designed to be one of the most accessible mobile applications. Users will have access to Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant accessible PDFs, audio descriptions, audio captioning, high-contrast colors, dyslexic font and more—all with the goal of ensuring the highest level of access possible to interpretive and educational content for all park visitors.

“Helping park visitors to create deeper and more meaningful experiences in state parks is vitally important to connecting us all to the rich history of these places,” said Parks California Community Engagement Director Myrian Solis Coronel. “Through this app and emerging digital technology, we hope these tools will help all visitors see themselves as part of these special places and feel a sense of belonging.” Parks California, along with other park partners like Jack London Park Partners, Point Lobos Foundation, Tribal Nations, and university partners are also supporting content development.

The app development was led by TimeLooper Inc., an immersive digital experience and exhibition firm. “State Parks came to us with a vision to expand the scope of stories told in its parks in a manner that is highly immersive and relevant to today’s park visitors,” said a TimeLooper Principal and Founder Andrew Feinberg. “Virtual Adventurer delivers an easily accessed, fuller accounting of the state’s natural and cultural history through the highly interactive capabilities of augmented and virtual reality.”

Below are the nine state parks currently participating:

To download the app, visitors can scan the QR code below, which directs both Android and iOS device users to their corresponding app store. Download this app today to deepen your connection to California’s remarkably diverse heritage.

CA PARKS VIRTUAL ADVENTURER

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Joe'sGarage
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Joe'sGarage
1 year ago

Put down your cell phone, turn off your computer, eat a peach and take a walk. This constant confirmation is bullshit Kym.

Kym Kemp
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe'sGarage

Perhaps if you enjoyed the peach and went for a walk, you’d be less sour about how others spend their time?

tru matters
Guest
tru matters
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe'sGarage

And there are those that can’t access these areas for a variety of reasons. And I enjoy travel logs if for no other reason than to see if I am interested in visiting. Yes , it is beautiful around here, but there is so much more out there.

TaraElisabeth
Guest
TaraElisabeth
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe'sGarage

As a teacher, it enriches the subject when I can open apps like this and show the children “nature in real life” that would otherwise not be accessible to us outside of a book. The children loved seeing videos of real life whales and sharks recently when we learned about the ocean. Thank you for posting this, Kym!

Martin
Guest
Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  TaraElisabeth

A wonderful comment! I am not a teacher, but I can see how they would love all the different videos. Maybe sometime you can take a field trip to the Sue-meg State Park so they can learn about our Indian friends and how they lived.

Steve Koch
Guest
Steve Koch
1 year ago

Bard:
“The budget for the development of California State Parks’ Virtual Adventurer app was $1.9 million.”