CWU News

CWU Students Develop 'Explore Central' Mobile App

A new app called Explore Central incorporates photos, videos, and audio recordings to give users a detailed tour of campus and the Ellensburg community. The free app was created by CWU Museum Studies students and Computer Science students. It is available for android devices on the Google Play Store.

“We wanted an app that would allow users to navigate around campus and Ellensburg to learn about points of interest that had artistic, historical, architectural or environmental importance,” said Mark Auslander, Professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies. 

The project was selected by a team of computer science seniors working under Professor Holly Johnson: Katherine Imhoef, Josiah Langlois, Cuong Nguyen, Craig Millioron, Jennifer Thomas, and Chris Walling. They worked on the project through fall and winter quarters. 

Color-coded balloons on the app’s map take users to points of interest in the area. From there, they can explore in more detail by accessing text, audio recordings, still images and videos.

Students in Auslander’s museum exhibition design class developed content for the app. Rachel Gunlogson wrote a witty monologue, imagining what the Kitt the Coyote statue (in front  of the Ellensburg Public Library) might say to passersby. Cheri Schafer created a video slideshow about the Rodeo City Rollergirls, the local roller derby team, which she coaches. Barbara Hammersburg created a segment about the new cold weather homeless shelter in Ellensburg.  

The app also incorporates audio segments on campus art, created by Auslander’s exhibition design students and students in Professor Ellen Avitts’ modern American art course. Users can hear student commentaries about many different art pieces across campus by clicking on a colored pin on the map. 

The plan is to develop an Explore Central version for iPhone users in the coming months.

March 16, 2015