There is a new social media app in the market for Californians to discover what is new at California parks, find places where you can do everything from camping to climbing to playing basketball, plan a trip, share images and comments, and invite friends to join you.
"CaliParks" is California's first park finder application covering every park in the state—11,826 parks in all. Combining data from the California Protected Areas Database, GreenInfo Network, and Hipcamp, with social media content from Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, and Foursquare, and linking to trip planner technology from Apple and Google, the bilingual CaliParks is launching this week in conjunction with a report from Parks Forward, an independent commission, that calls for increased use of technology to connect Californians with their parks. While still undergoing testing and refinement, this first version is accessible through any browser on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop at CaliParks.org, the web-based app draws on social media from more than half-a-million users to create an incredibly diverse, accessible, and welcoming way to discover California's parks.
"Park users have long shared their experiences using social media, and for the first time, these stories and images come together in a single app," says Jon Christensen, a UCLA professor and partner in Stamen Design, which built the application. "Our new park finder app—CaliParks—taps these existing conversations to create a welcoming invitation to all Californians— especially the state's diverse, technologically adept and socially connected millennial generation, to discover where they can do the things they want to do in parks, nearby or far away, today or tomorrow, or whenever they want to get outdoors. "
With CaliParks, visitors can use the interactive, responsive, mobile-friendly, browser-based app to discover their next adventures, share their experiences, and enlarge conversations and build communities around parks, says Christensen.
The app is bilingual — in English and Spanish — and incorporates activities data for 816 state, national, and regional parks, as well as all 5,447 urban parks in the state to ensure that users can access and share a diverse range of park experiences.