UCLA and California State Parks are hoping to transform the way we walk through Los Angeles with a new app, says Gizmodo's Alissa Walker, who had a chance to try it out ahead of its public launch in April. Leading users along digital-only trails that originate in Elysian Park, the app sprinkles tidbits of info like breadcrumbs at intervals along the walk: "[T]he app might show me photos of what a nearby hillside looked like before Dodger Stadium was built there ... or encourage me to run around a track at a high school's stadium, which as I'll find out when I go there, is built on a former graveyard (and that's why the school's mascot is the Phantoms)."
Users won't just get history, they'll be able to adjust the "theme" the app focuses on (transportation, nature, urban development). It will even tell you about future developments: one screenshot shows the app pointing out the site of the long-in-the-works Blossom Plaza in Chinatown. Another thing the app can do? Subtly suggest that you get some extra exercise on your walk—some lunges here, some squats there. (Don't take it personally.)
Though the trails are Elysian-Park-centric, a look at the map of the first wave of trails shows that the app will work along at least two Downtown routes and on one that crosses the LA River, too. Get ready to see a shift in LA's hottest places on Instagram this summer.
· Los Angeles To Launch Nation's Largest Interactive Urban Trail Network [Gizmodo]
· LASHP Trails [IMLab]