Being a fan of crowd-sourcing, it would come as no surprise that the concept of Fotopedia would greatly appeal to me. If you haven’t heard, Fotopedia is the world’s first collaborative photo encyclopedia. Think of it like Wikipedia but with gorgeous pictures of places from around the world. If you’re a photographer or an photo enthusiast, I would definitely recommend you checking out this app and the accompanying site.
While there isn’t a complete Fotopedia app for the iPad yet, they’ve done the next best thing and released Fotopedia Heritage. It features over 20,000 images of the 890 World Heritage sites from across the globe. The list, compiled by UNESCO, features some of the most visually stunning places on Earth, including Old Quebec City, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Alberta and SGang Gwaay in BC. Not only that, but they also link the photos back to informative articles from UNESCO and Wikipedia.
What truly sets this app apart from other photo galleries I’ve seen is just how slick and well-designed it is. Users can access a vertical scroll bar to scroll through a photo collection to find the most spectacular shots. The navigation bar at the bottom gives users the opportunity to browse photos at various geographic levels [Region, Country, and Site]. Being a social travel app, it also allows users to share photos on Facebook, Twitter & email, as well as find nearby Heritage Sites using the built-in GPS map.
This app is simply a delight to play around with. However, there are a couple of features that would make it much better. Firstly, the lack of a slideshow makes the experience a bit cumbersome when browsing through hundreds photos at a time. The app can also greatly benefit from allowing users to export photos directly into your native iPad albums [with proper attribution, of course]. Thirdly, it would be great if there were an option to load the initial set of photos based on the iPad’s geo-location or by random selection, rather than based on the “Best of” chosen by Fotopedia users.
In general, I am very pleased with Fotopedia’s first foray into the iPad app space, and I’m excited for subsequent app updates that will improve the overall user experience. The app is definitely recommended for travelers, photographers and photo enthusiasts. Still, if you’re none of the above, you’ll still find the app to be educational and a worthwhile download.
Oh, did I mention it’s free? What are you waiting for?
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