The Windsor Star
By Kristie PearceJune 25, 2012
WINDSOR, Ont. — We’ve all heard of U.S. Route 66, but have you ever travelled Route 1812?
Thanks to Western University public history students, now you can.
A team of 12 students spent their academic year researching and creating a smart phone application called Route 1812.
The app, that works on tablets or touch phones, is a historic southern Ontario driving trail that highlights sites and stories from the War of 1812.
“So you can drive literally all the way from Amherstburg to Thamesville and stop along the spots on the route,” project facilitator Kyra Knapp said Saturday at Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre during the app’s launch. “The purpose is really to draw people to the region and to show them all the great sites that may have not heard about.”
The group of master’s students compiled music, images and video accompanied by narration, which guides the user along paths used during the war in a loop from Toronto to Amherstburg.
In addition to the interactive history lesson, the GPS navigable app features local restaurants and hotels to stop at along the way.
Knapp said it’s up to users how they want to experience the app, which can be done in sections or over a long period of time.
The app is a legacy project, Knapp said, to commemorate this year’s bicentennial of The War of 1812.
The Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation provided funding for the app.
“Whether you’re from the region and or you’re not, we want people to learn the history of why the War of 1812 was so important here.”
Jim Hudson, Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation executive director, said they wanted to take advantage of the “new wave” of technology.
“It’s not a wave of soldiers crossing over to have the first battle at River Canard, but it’s certainly a wave of how we get to people in the future, ” Hudson said.
In 2008, Hudson said only 8,000 apps existed in the world. Now Hudson said that number has grown to 1.3 million.
To access the app go to 1812. myweeverapp.com or 1812onatario.ca., where users can scan a QR code to view and save the app to their touch phone or tablet device.