What is HistOrigin™?
The HistOrigin™ project is a service for the traveling public, initially to be available in the form of a smartphone or tablet app (Android OS, Apple to follow), that utilizes the GPS and text-to-speech capabilities of smartphones and tablets with mobile internet access, to relay the origin story of communities. As you approach a community, the app will give you a brief summary of the historical orgin in an automated and completely safe hands-off manner.
Why use HistOrigin™?
Have you ever driven past a small out-of-the-way village, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, and wondered why people settled there, or how that little village or burg came to be? What were the circumstances, who were the people, how long has it been there? These are some of the questions the HistOrigin™ Project will answer, while providing an educational and entertaining traveling experience.
The "origin story", is the story that tells us how a city, town, village, burg, borough or hamlet originated or came to be. Some of the questions HistOrigin™ attempts to answer are:
- Why was the location chosen?
- Who were the first people to settle the land in the area and make the first improvements?
- What were the circumstances and what was the situation that led to the establishment of the settlement?
- Who were the first people to purchase the land and how was it passed along?
- Why is the community named as it is?
When using the HistOrigin™ app, you simply start the app and set your phone down. As you drive, the app uses proximity detection via GPS to trigger the telling of the "origin story" for a community that comes within a predefined and adjustable radius.
Currently, the HistOrigin™ Database is filled with records for our test market of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Travelers using the app in these three states will enjoy full functionality of the app because there is content for their state. Our database grows daily, but creation of the content is time consuming, expensive, and the reason we are here doing a kickstarter campaign.
The HistOrigin™ app has already been programmed and is currently in the beta testing phase. During the KickStarter campaign, we are offering the BETA version of the HistOrigin™ app and lifetime use of the Premium version when it is released, to anyone who donates at the base level of $5.
One of the neat features of the HistOrigin™ app, is the ability for the user to submit his or her local "origin story", or the origin story for a community they may know. The better and more interesting the story is written, the more likely an interested traveler could be influenced to venture into your town for a quick look and may be spend money at a local establishment. Seeing it this way, the HistOrigin™ app could result in a potential economic benefit to local communities.
The goals of the HistOrigin™ Project are as follows:
- Create a story for every currently incorporated community entity in the United States. Incorporation is not necessary for addition to the database. We will accept non incorporated communities as well..
- Make it the best single point resource for the references to the establishment of American communities.
- License the database content to businesses for inclusion in other app's, websites and navigation based services.
- Have this service integrated into the suite of applications that are increasingly available in newer cars with in-dash navigation systems.
Why we need your help...
We have written the app and created content for Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania with limited staff. Our database grows every day, but we will need additional resources to allow us to populate the database with content for the remaining states (including yours).
If we are funded through KickStarter, the funds raised will go exclusively towards hiring the researchers/writers, editorial, and database management staff that will create the content to be added to the HistOrigin™ database for the Incorporated community entities for every state in the USA.
Why support us?
- The information regarding the origin story of many, but not all communities can be found on the Internet if you look for it. There is, however, no aggregated collection of this information located anywhere in the world. The creation of this collection of stories, if handled correctly, could become a national treasure.
- Every city, town, village, hamlet, burg and borough has a story to tell of how it came to be. We call it the "origin story". Stories that tell us exactly how intrepid pioneering settlers moved ever westward, into the American frontier, discovering resources and spectacularly beautiful terrain that inspired the establishment of settlements. These stories are an important part of American history. Some of them are fascinating to hear and will open your eyes to things you never knew about the communities you travel around and through.
- We believe we are creating a product that we hope will eventually become included as a service within the ever expanding suite of app's that can be accessed from automobiles with advanced in-dash navigation systems seen in most of today's new vehicles.
How was HistOrigin™ created and how has it evolved...
The idea for the HistOrigin™ project occurred during a trip to North Carolina. Sitting in the backseat of the car looking out the window, rather bored, Chris saw a small village down in a valley, and made the comment wondering how that little village got there. He happened to also have his phone in his hand. Joe then said, "wouldn't it be neat if there was an app that could tell you that information?" They started to talk about it and the idea for what became HistOrigin™ and was born. Joe told his friend Rob E. of the idea and he liked it so much he and his son Matt decided to join the team. Soon after that, Rob d. was asked to join the team to help.
The design for the app was hashed out and the first records were added to the HistOrigin™ database in the summer of 2012. Since then, the app was programmed and we now have over 2,000 community origin stories in the HistOrigin™ database for communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
Programming of the beta version of the app has been completed and is now ready to be released for public use. The next phase involves wide spread distribution of the HistOrigin™ app so interested invividuals can use it, and we can increase the rate at which we add records into the database. We are looking forward to populating our database with the origin stories for communities across the entire United States, determining how the app will be received by the public and improving the service based on user feedback.
Rewards as listed on this page include, free use of the premium app, decals, tee shirts, and more. The real reward though will be your contribution to documenting the history of our country and perhaps even the town where you were born. Join our team of supporters and help us reach our goal!
Risks and challenges
We have invested our own time and money to get the HistOrigin™ project to the point where it is today. Our risks and challenges are very straightforward. Obtain the necessary funding that will allow us to hire the people to create the content for the remaining states in an organized and accelerated fashion. Without funding, we must put the project on the back burner and move forward with other projects and ventures. The HistOrigin™ Project will continue on, but we will not have the time or funding to add or update the database with new content at the rate we had hoped for.
If we are funded, our challenge becomes one of hiring writers and research staff to create the content and an editorial and database management staff to ensure the efficient and effective management of the data as it is collected.
The accuracy of each record within the HistOrigin™ database is very important to the project. Stories read from this database will be based on factual information collected from numerous historical references available on the internet, local governments, historical societies, and local historians. Records collect from the field will be verified through an editorial process and once verified will be added to the database.
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