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Student Internship Project: Explore 9/11

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum recently released the Explore 9/11 app, a guide to understanding 9/11 through the eyes of those who witnessed the events first-hand. As a summer intern at Local Projects, the media design firm behind the project, Eric St. Onge worked on the audio tour of the World Trade Center site, taking part in designing the interactions, and as the primary software developer for the application. He shares what the app is about as downloads reach over 100,000 before the Anniversary.

Explore 9/11

Screenshots of the 9/11 Memorial smartphone app that IXD student Eric St. Onge worked on during his internship at Local Projects.

Explore 9/11 is an app for iPhone and iPod touch that acts as a guide for visitors to the WTC site in Lower Manhattan and helps those visitors understand 9/11 through oral histories from people who experienced the event. A major feature of Explore 9/11 is a walking tour that covers seven stops around the WTC site. At each stop, visitors hear a story from survivors of the day’s events, and cover such topics as the evacuation of the towers, volunteerism after the attacks, and how people who lived in the surrounding neighborhood were affected. Another major feature of the app ties in with Make History, a web site where people can submit their photos and stories from 9/11. All of the content from Make History is accessible through the app, and users can see where the photos were taken using Google Maps. Photos from Make History are also visible through an augmented reality view of nearby photos. –Eric St. Onge, Summer 2010

The app is currently available for download in the iTunes Store. Visitors to the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site at 20 Vesey Street in Manhattan will also be able to download the app using the museum’s WiFi network. Founder of Local Projects Jake Barton will be showing Media Design from inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum and Explore 9/11 in a preview presentation next Monday.


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