Friday, May 20, 2011

Fotopedia: Explore our world with fantastic photos and iPad apps

I got an iPad 2 recently and it's an absolutely fantastic device.  I'll write another post about that in the near future to give a mini-review of my impressions of the iPad and the iOS platform....but for now.....

The subject of this post has to do with one of the many photographic discoveries that I've made recently while using the iPad and some of its great photo apps.  The quality of the iPad's screen and the touch interface lend themselves well to working with photography websites, viewing photos, etc.

I'm writing this review because the Fotopedia apps that I mention below are the absolute epitome of what a well designed, highly functional, content-packed iPad app should be.  And three out of the four of them are free!

I like to explore the world visually (which I guess is obvious, since I like photography so much).  If you gave me the choice between one book about the world and all its countries and people that has mostly text and some small photos, or, a better/larger book with nice large color photos and a significantly higher price, I will gladly spend the extra money on the more visually interesting book.  Pictures help me connect with a place much more than words do.  It's as simple as that...

So, with that in mind, I stumbled across a link somewhere to  If you have not yet seen or used this website, I would highly encourage that you spend some time checking it out.  It's a very unique way to explore our world using photography.  It's a combination of great photography, Wikipedia, and user-driven content.  It's a unique combination and definitely worth a look.

In addition to the Fotopedia website, they've created four fantastic iPad apps filled with content and tons of beautiful photographs from around the world.  In addition to continually updating these apps, Fotopedia has put bookmarking and travel planning functionality into the apps.  Great for planning future adventures!

The Fotopedia apps include:
  1. Fotopedia National Parks ($2.99) with a promotional video on YouTube located at this link.  This app is filled with a wealth of information and photos about the US National Parks....all in one app.  When I say this app has nice photos......I mean gorgeous!
  2. Fotopedia Heritage (free) with a promotional video at that link.  This app takes you on a journey to all of the World Heritage sites and the description reads:  "All of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  25,000 Pictures. 4,000 Points of Interest.  Thousands of photographers.  Hundreds of curators".  Another beautifully presented package...

  3. Fotopedia Memory of Colors (free) with a promotional video at that link.  The description of this app says:  "Memory of Colors is a message of peace, tolerance and respect, for the people threatened by globalization. A 12-year project to assemble a rainbow of 1,300 photos 40 unique cultures in 18 countries (from Algeria to Yemen) and across 4 continents.  It is a pause in time and space to preserve the beauty of these disappearing cultures, before it is too late. Look into these eyes and see … the reflection of your own humanity".  It's a great way to learn about and see the different cultures around the world.

  4. Fotopedia Paris (free) and the description of the app reads:  "A Paris vacation without leaving your home.  Dreaming of Paris? Now you can discover and explore the City of Light, as it’s never been seen. Packed with visual surprises and more than 4,000 spectacular photos, Fotopedia Paris makes it easy to find your way through the beauty of Paris and quickly find whatever interests you: art, architecture, cafes, castles, fashion, history, romantic sights, shopping or street life… everything is at your fingertips.  As you browse through the city, simply pick your favorite photos and places and Fotopedia Paris creates an interactive map to help you discover familiar places and “hidden gems”.  This app is gorgeous and fun, just like… Paris". 
I hope you take some time to try the Fotopedia website and apps, and send feedback to the Fotopedia team to encourage them to build more apps of this type.  With encouragement from its user base, hopefully Fotopedia will continue to produce apps that can take us on breathtaking photographic journeys around the world.  Enjoy!

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