Accessibility Tools





MotionX is “the leading GPS App for the iPhone and iPad.” This free application is based on Fullpower's motion technology platform which, Macworld notes, “allows the app to function with the same level of accuracy you would find in a dedicated GPS receiver.” The app allows users to track their progress (driving, biking, hiking, etc.) and place “waypoints” along the route they took. Users can upload photos at the waypoints and can share their tracks through Facebook, Twitter or email. The app also works with Facebook Places to find Places marked by the user's friends.

Users can also cache maps and use WiFi instead of GPS technology if they cannot find a strong GPS signal. MotionX lets users access nine different kinds of maps including its own MotionX open topographic and road maps, Google, Bing Road, Satellite and Hybrid Maps.


Macworld gave MotionX a very high rating and of course there are high ratings on the MotionX-GPS website.


There don't appear to be any oral history projects that have used MotionX specifically, and no on has mentioned it on H-Net. The MotionX website illustrates one family project that presents some possibilities. They show how the Gunn family used MotionX to share their trip to Yellowstone National Park:

            They kept in touch with family and friends using MotionX-GPS One-Click
sharing to Twitter—posting a link to their marked location and a picture
directly to their Twitter feed. Great idea!

Future Directions:

This free app could be a useful GPS device for oral historians, especially since it supports open source maps as well as Google Earth/Maps. Oral historians can use this app to  create waypoints during walking interviews or mark out points of interest discussed in prior interviews. These waypoints can be uploaded directly onto a map (and shared instantly with participants or collegues) or the GPS co-ordinates could be used to build an oral history walking tour app (such as the walking tours created by GPSmyCity.com). The map caching feature could be useful to historians working outside of the urban environment since they can save maps ahead of time. It is marketed to outdoor enthusiasts, so some of its features aren't that relevant for historians (voice coaching, ability to listen to iTunes, stopwatch, etc.) but there are probably lots of creative possibilities for its use.


Macworld: http://www.macworld.com/appguide/app.html?id=84745

MotionX-GPS: http://www.motionx.com/


Concordia University