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Archive for the 'fun' Category

Geotagged Audio Stories And Tours With Broadcastr

Application Name: Broadcastr

Description: Geotagged audio file creator

Publisher’s website: Broadcastr

Cost: Free

Version/date reviewed: v.1.0  /  4-25-11

Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2


Android Market (mobile app only)
Android Market (browser)

Broadcastr is a social website that lets you create, share and view audio files tagged to geographic locations; it’s free to browse, but free registration is required to create your own audio files. The iPhone app has been out for a while, and an Android app has just come out.


The website lets you search by keyword, by categories, or by featured sources (UNICEF here).



Search results are plotted in a Google Maps interface; clicking on a blue icon brings up the story in an in-browser player.


In the Android app, the GPS will fire up to get your current location, and then the view will zoom out until the closest available geotagged audio story appears, also marked with a blue dot.


Tap on the blue dot, and a pop-up will show you the title of this audio note.


Another tap will bring up even more info; tapping on the Play icon will play the associated audio file.


Zoom out in the Google Maps view to see more distant audio files.



The Menu button brings up more options, like a list view of all audio files currently visible in the map view …


… and the option to record your own note/story, pin it to a geolocation, and have it viewable at the Broadcastr site.

Other issues: Not sure how practical creating audio stories will be on Android, as they’re likely to include distracting noise and ambient sounds. Viewing local notes is easy now, as there aren’t a huge number yet, but I wonder how that will scale as the number of available stories for an area increases.

Final thoughts: Great app for creating audio tours, and personal stories about locations; I hope to use it to create interpretive tours for a number of local trails.

The Inception Effect

Application Name: Inception: Mobile Architect

Description: Duplicates the “landscape-bending” effect from the movie Inception on your Android unit.

Publisher’s website: Inception: Mobile Architect

Cost: Free

Version/date reviewed: v.1.0  /  12-20-10

Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2


Android Market link (mobile app only)
Android Market link (browser)

In the recent movie Inception, there’s a prominent special effect where the landscape on the horizon bends up into the vertical position. The Inception: Mobile Architect app tries to duplicate this effect on your Android phone, with limited success.


Figure 1: To set up the bending parameters, hold your phone in portrait mode, and tilt it until the horizontal white line lies between the two ticks at the left. When aligned properly, the background behind the spinning top will be green; incorrect, the background is red. Press the top when you’re ready. Why a top? See the movie to find out …


Figure 2: You’ll get the bending music/sound effects from the movie, then an image from Google Maps (georeferenced using your GPS) will bend upwards from the horizon line, duplicating the movie effect.

Other issues: As you can see from the picture above, the app isn’t perfect. It tries to discriminated foreground objects from the background, and isn’t always successful. And for some reason, it uses the hybrid Google Maps view with streets/labels displayed, which ruins the effect somewhat. You’ll get better results with a view that has foreground objects clearly distinguishable from the background sky, and I’d guess the best result will come using urban landscapes rather than the natural landscape near my house.

Final thoughts: Use it with the right view, and it’s a cool show-off app for your phone. No useful functions, just a fun demo app.