I recently tested the MappLore app, available on the iPhone and iPad. It’s very simple and easy to use, but with practical applications for travellers also. There’s also a very useful YouTube video that runs through it all in a nutshell and is a useful starting point, but here’s a written explanation of how it works, along with a few screenshots. Once downloaded, you have the option of letting the app know your whereabouts. This is obviously recommended if you want to use MappLore to its full potential. In my case, it immediately pulled up a map centred upon Kendal in the UK where I live and work, along with a number of balloons identifying places of interest in the area. I zoomed in on Kendal and was then able to see a blue spot highlighting my location and balloons signifying Kendal’s castles. Many people, including a lot of local residents, don’t realise that Kendal in fact had two castles – one of stone construction which is still there today, albeit in ruins, and a second wooden ‘motte and bailey’ castle that pre-dates the stone one and is no longer there, instead replaced by a monument. I homed in on the castle remains that you can find today and placed the satellite overlay on top and it was clearly visible. What’s more, MappLore pulls in Wikipedia and so tells you a little bit about each place of interest. There are even links to ‘related products’ and ‘related subjects’ if you want to delve further. Of course, you are not limited to your immediate whereabouts. You could instead search for an altogether different location – perhaps somewhere you plan to visit – in order to see what places of interest are in the vicinity. All in all, this is a neat little app that you can get to grips with in a matter of minutes. It’s simple and straightforward – which is what makes it so easy to use – and yet of practical use also, particularly if you are travelling somewhere unfamiliar. MappLore is free and can be downloaded from the App Store here.
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