As a folklorist and a history buff, I've long thought about taking a road trip that involved stopping solely at interesting and obscure historical markers. A new iPhone app released today might not be what makes me follow through with those plans, but it'll certainly help locate
Historical iMarkers includes a fairly comprehensive database of roadside markers, with data on almost 130,000 local, state, and national historical markers. Data comes from participating State Historical Preservation Offices, the National Register of Historical Places, as well as other sites and users who contribute information.
Using your location, the app displays nearby markers, along with their description. You can also search by a specific area - a state or an intended route. The latter is particularly handy if, like me, you're keen to stop at these sorts of sites.
The app contains information about the sites, as well as links to Wikipedia entries where available. It does boast the ability to read the descriptions out load, but as many of the entries are very basic name, address, and marker type and the computer-generated voice is pretty monotone, I don't think that the aural element is really the selling point for the app.
The app works on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and costs $.99 to download. A portion of the sales, says creator Dzine Apps, will be donated to contributing historical organizations.