Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Smart Phones and the Civil War - The Possibilities are Endless

Greetings Cosmic Americans!

I am so very pleased to be able to stand at the intersection of technology and the humanities. It truly is a great time to be a scholar - so much technology at my disposal, which makes my job as a historian infinitely more interesting and easy. And, I am thrilled to be able to use technology to make my work readily available to you - in real time, whether it be a curiosity discovered here or there or the serious business of scholarly analysis.

As you all know by now, I have a number of grand endeavors in the pipeline - members of the Cosmic America Inner Circle will have a few more details, but for now I will just say I have many multi-media projects coming up - all geared toward teaching history in a virtual format - with many innovations.

You all probably also know that I am an iPhone historian, which means much of my web-based work is done from remote locations - all on my phone using any number of applications. As a compliment some of my bigger projects, I am always trying to figure out ways to use little innovations such as virtual how-to guide applications and QR code readers to help extend the Cosmic America Civil War network. What do you think? What would be a good thing to which I could affix a QR code? I mean, it seems like everybody has a smart phone - why not use this to my advantage and make Cosmic America a simple scan away?

A Civil War related how-to guide might be interesting as well. But the question remains...how to do what? An application called Snapguide currently allows experts (or anybody, really) to put together a how-to guide for anything - building birdhouses or cooking shrimp. It is up to the creator. If I were to put together a Civil War how-to, what would you want to know how to do?

I listen to Cosmic America readers - tell me what you would like to know, and I will see what I can come up with.




  1. Hey Keith,

    Personally I am a bit dubious about the utility of QRCodes. This might be an Aussie thing, but I don't really see people pulling out their phones to scan them. I think if it was a native thing built into the iPhone (ie. not requiring a QR code reader app) then it could work, but as it is now, I am not sure if it worth the time investing in it.

    I reckon some of the content you post to this blog would be a good fit for a mobile app. Not sure if SnapGuide does this, but location appropriate articles when you are travelling around visiting the battlefields would be pretty cool.

    I am an iPhone app developer and, although I am strapped for time for additional projects at the moment, I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. :)

    Good luck and regards,

    p.s. I have my own iPhone civil war app that maps the battlefields in time and place.


  2. Thanks for the comment, Tom. Come to think of it, I have seen only a few people take out there phones and scan something - and I saw a QR code on a billboard once, so that would have been hard to scan even if anyone wanted to. I have used them myself - when looking for rental property, so I think there is some value there. I am just trying to figure out where one could be best placed. We'll see.
    And I will keep you up to speed on any app development I might be up for. The thought has crossed my mind to develop one for Cosmic America. And I will check yours out. Thanks,

  3. No problem and good luck with the app :).