Yellowstone National Park, America’s First National Park, now has a new app to help those around the Old Faithful and Biscuit Basin Geyser areas a chance to learn about the natural wonders from their tablet or smart phone. Compatible with both Android and iPhones, the App, called NPS YELLOWSTONE GEYSERS, is something nature lovers should all download. It appears as if Yellowstone is embracing technology, which is good news for those who are fans of the proposed extension of a 4G LTE into the park.
Download on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nps-yellowstone-geysers/id901014175?mt=8
Download on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.nps.geysers&hl=en
The NPS Geysers app is now available in the Google Play Store and in the Apple App Store. According to Yellowstone National Park’s Official Press Release,
The largest concentration of active geysers in the world—approximately half of the world’s total— is found in Yellowstone. You can now discover the natural wonder of the most famous geyser of all, Old Faithful, and other geysers with a free app that you can use during your visit to the park and at home. The new app will help you find out when Old Faithful and five other predictable geysers could erupt.
The app also features a link to a webcam so that you can view live eruptions of Old Faithful and other nearby geysers. The FAQ section provides answers to several of the frequently asked questions that explain how a few geysers can be predicted and other fascinating details about Yellowstone’s geysers.
You can follow the Social Media Feed and see what’s happening in Yellowstone by browsing the park’s Twitter, YouTube and Flickr sites. Because every eruption is different, the app’s Photo Gallery contains an array of geyser eruption photos.
While we at Exotic Hikes encourage you all to download and explore this app, we will highlight a few of the cool features that we enjoy, as well as critique a few things we dislike. For a National Park app, I give it a C+. It is good, but still doesn’t go above and beyond basic expectations. I would also like to see this app inlace the other geyser areas of Yellowstone, instead of sticking to just one, but we have to start somewhere I suppose. The app is just slightly above average, but I am excited to see how this app grows and what other parks will do when they have apps. Do you disagree with my grade? Tell us what you think of the app!
Geysers- Includes information about Old Faithful, Grand, Castle, Great Fountain, Daisy and Riverside Geysers. To access these, you need to swipe left or right on the screen. What is great about this section of the app is the prediction window feature for each geyser. This will help those trying to cram numerous eruptions into one visit to the region. Keep in kind that geyser predications are estimates.
Geyser Webcam: I absolutely love this feature. Now, instead of having to go to the Yellowstone National Park webcam page, I can click two buttons on my phone and get a live look at one of the most iconic geysers in the world. This is probably my favorite section of the app, as I am addicted to watching the geyser erupt in all seasons.
Map- The map feature of this map, in all honesty, is pretty terrible. It isn’t interactive, and is nothing more than a National Park map put on the app. Without an ability to zoom out or interact, this map lacks the functionality most who wish to use a map will desire. It is a great place holder, but hopefully the map feature can be made better in the next update. I personally would love to see an option for a satellite map, and/or images of the geysers listed, as well as links directly to the geyser predictions on the map page. Overall, the maps section is below average.
Social Media Feeds- The social media page on the NPS Yellowstone geyser’s App is decent, directing you to their twitter page. The links on the tweets al work, so it isn’t terrible… it just feels empty. Hopefully, in the future they fix this and make it link to a few other accounts or at least a way to interact with them through the app. Again though, I am just being picky.
FAQ- The FAQ section is pretty standards, offering information about Old Faithful, and the other geysers around the region. What makes this section nice is the in-depth answers that are given. Too often, we see short answers for FAQ sections on apps, but Yellowstone does a great job getting into the science of the region, as well as education visitors on the entire area, not just focusing on one geyser. For an FAQ section, the app delivers, though I would like to see an area to submit a question to park officials. If this section was more interact, I’d see myself using it more than once.
Safety Tips- I love that Yellowstone officials added safety information to the app. Broken into three sections, the safety tips section offers great tips for those unfamiliar with the region, the rules and the etiquette of driving, walking, and hiking in Yellowstone. The safety tips section does talk about the weather, but is only two sentences and is pretty terrible. At the very least, I would like to see the next update include an area for weather forecasts, otherwise, why mention that the weather changes…
Credit- Because of this, I learned that Washington State University played an important role in developing this app. As much as it pains me to say this, Go Cougs.