5 apps to better experience your city

Hamilton is an exciting city. It’s a city filled to the brim with a fascinating history, thrilling action, and intriguing local businesses. We all have our favourite aspects of the city, yet it is only one perspective to a multifaceted metropolis.

Technology offers us a way to break free from our conventional way of perceiving the city. It connects experiences and helps users their there perspective of the community.

Submitting that I am no software expert, I sought the help Kevin Brown who runs Software Hamilton. For those that may be unfamiliar, Software Hamilton journals and promotes up and coming start-ups within the city, and facilitates networking events and business presentations.

“The idea with Software Hamilton was to make it a blog about anything to do with software in Hamilton, whether it’s a workshop for women trying to learn coding or giving recognition to a local startup,” said Brown.

With nearly 4 years under his belt, I turned to Kevin to ask him what apps would allow Hamiltonians to look at their city in a new light.

walkbug-hamilton-appWalkbug App
It’s always more fun to explore the city with a friend. Friends seem to always have captivating stories or interesting facts to share about an area as you pass through. But sadly, friends are not always able to tag along. That’s where Walkbug comes in.

This app allows you to explore a city on your own while still discovering its hidden gems. Walkbug curates points of interest within a city to present you with your very own personal tour. The application keeps track of where you are on a map that it has laid out, and audibly reads history or relevant commentary pertaining to each location as you progress through the checkpoints of your tour. As well, each user is able to add their own experiences to the tour and share them with friends, other tourists, and local residents and enthusiasts.

visit-hamilton-appVisit Hamilton App
Okay, so this app made by Tourism Hamilton is tailor-made for newcomers, but don’t let that discourage you from giving this app a go.

The app uses GPS to pinpoint your location on a map and provides directions on how to navigate the city to quickly reach your destinations.

The app appropriately categorizes attractions into three tabs: What to Do, Where to Stay, and Where to Eat. Once the app has pinpointed your location, you can then browse through the three categories and select whatever scintillating suggestion that catches your eye.

Although Visit Hamilton is designed with tourists in mind, it’s still a handy app should you find yourself in an unfamiliar part of town.

travel-wise-hsr-appHSR Travelwise
The City of Hamilton launched the HSR Travelwise app as part of their Public Works initiative. The app’s designed to get people to take advantage of the various sustainable modes of transportation within the city.

This minimalistic application “provides citizens and visitors with instant access to information on getting around by transit, walking, cycling, carpooling, carshare and taxi.” There’s not much more to it than that! Simple, and it works.

Imagine having a calendar that was up to date with nearly every event generating buzz within the city. It’s a tall order, but this app has it pegged.

EventsWithin is an online event aggregator. It collects information from around the web and presents it in an easily digestible calendar. Not failing to impress, the app also collaborates with events posted on Facebook to provide a demographic of those slated to attend.

With the app displaying hundreds of events for up to 2 weeks in advance, there’s really no excuse to spend another uneventful Friday night at home.

my-hamilton-appMyHamilton App
The MyHamilton App is a collaboration of McMaster University, Mohawk College, Columbia College, the City of Hamilton, and Weever Apps. It provides an interactive way to explore Hamilton and explore the culture and spirit of the city.

The app, using Twitter and Google Maps, enables users to explore Hamilton, sharing their finding with friends. Once a post is made, the tweet, along with a picture provided by the user, appear as a pin on the map that is then made visible to other users.

The application serves to generate buzz around local businesses within the downtown core, but users are also awarded for their efforts with a list of discounts for local events and businesses, as well as directions and methods of transportation to navigate the city.

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