App Review: Storymap
OverviewGenre: Lifestyle, Travel
Pros:Eight walking tours in your pocket - just stick in your earphones and follow the map. High-quality videos and a lot of entertaining stories to browse through.
Cons:The colour coding isn't clear and some of the stories are a little drawn-out. Also the iPhone version takes you out of the app and into Safari to watch the videos.
The Storymap app lets users tap into the hidden stories of Dublin as they wander around its streets. Nadene reviews.
Have you heard about the Dublin man who managed to misplace his girlfriend while she was in the nip? How about the one about the horrible little man who got his comeuppance on the Luas? Or have you ever wondered how the polar bear came to be at Dublin’s Natural History Museum? Countless stories have unfolded on the streets and throughout the fair city and if the walls could talk, we’re sure they’d have many fascinating yarns to spin.
Well now they can (sort of!) thanks to Storymap; a new app that lets you hear local stories as you explore the city. Whether you’re on foot or sitting on your backside at home, you can use the interactive map to discover new tales about our capital, as told by a diverse group of local storytellers. They each share a piece of history or a personal anecdote about something that happened on the various streets, pubs or shops in the city.
Packed with history lessons, tales of our literary heroes including James Joyce, and lots of laugh-out-loud anecdotes this app lets us see Dublin in a new light, and it can also give visitors a more personal slant on their surroundings. There’s an exclusive story from Roddy Doyle in there too: ‘The Spire’ captures that moment of anxiousness while waiting for a date at the famous meeting spot.
As well as having countless stories to browse through, the Rambles option allows you to choose a themed route (from funny, history, literary, etc) and take a walking tour while listening to stories about the areas you pass. There are currently over five hours of stories on Storymap, with more being added each month.
There are a few downsides though. The colour coding isn’t clearly laid-out so it’s hard to pick out the history stories from the humorous ones for example, but you can find out on the website. Also, watching the videos takes you out of the app and into Safari which is a little inconvenient because you have to return to the app each time you’ve finished watching.
In saying that, the Storymap App provides an interesting and a novel approach to storytelling. Created by two film-makers, Tom Rowley and Andrew Flaherty, they plan to develop it in other cities including Galway, Derry and London in the coming year, reminding us that no matter where we are, we’re never far from an interesting tale.
The Storymap App is available now for Android and iPhone, priced €2.69.