With the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bull Run nearly here, what better guide to the history than a smart phone application? Well, a knowledgable human tour guide would be better, yes. But not everyone can get that, so the Civil War Trust and the Virginia Department of Transportation this week unveiled a free educational app about the First Battle of Manassas which is actually pretty cool.
The battle’s sesquicentennial is July 23, as you no doubt know, and the ”Bull Run Battle App” uses global positioning technology to explain what was happening in the place where you’re standing, along with videos, audio and context of the entire battle. It’s free, but only available for Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPod through iTunes. There are also apps for Gettysburg and Fredericksburg.
I downloaded it Wednesday, and it is endlessly fascinating to
play with perform research with , just sitting at one’s desk, while working. “The intent was to get the next generation of interpretation and apply it to the battlefield,” Civil War Trust president Jim Lighthizer told InsideNoVa.com.It also guides you around the battlefield, even guides you there from your home place of work.
My colleague Michael Ruane visited the battlefield to see the app in action. Read his story here.