The Arboretum App : Building a Virtual Trail Companion Guide
Smalley, Griffin G.
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The author spent this past summer building a mobile application that will serve as a “trail companion guide” for the Lillian Anderson Arboretum in Oshtemo Township, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Essentially, the app enhances visitors’ experiences by showing trail maps, suggesting interesting or seasonally unique natural sites, and showing information about many of the Arboretum’s flora and/or fauna while the user is on-site. To complete this task, the author had to learn a number of new technologies/languages/mobile platforms either from scratch or from a limited database of knowledge. These include iOS, Swift, mobile databasing and networking, geolocation data, and others. This paper discusses the goals for the project, the technologies learned in the process of building it, and a reflection of the experience as a whole.