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March 2012 Issue

History in Hand
History Professor Tim Crimmins and GSU Graduate Student Chris Escobar

History in Hand

GSU team brings the Gold Dome to life with new app

Story by Jeremy Craig | Photography by Meg Buscema

Chris Escobar met professor Tim Crimmins in one of GSU’s Freshmen Learning Communities. Now the pair has created an app that lets visitors tour Georgia’s Capitol building.

For more than a century, the wood and marble halls of Georgia’s state Capitol building have thrummed with legislators and leaders, lobbyists and citizens, all with the aim of shaping Peach State policy.

In a state that has undergone massive political and societal changes in its long history, the grand old edifice in downtown Atlanta stands not just as the working center of government for the economic powerhouse of the Southeast, but as a symbol of Georgia’s rich past.

Many visitors to the Capitol aren’t aware of all the history that runs deep through the stately building. Learning about this past can help them understand Georgia’s present, and maybe even its future.

Professor of history Tim Crimmins and Chris Escobar, a graduate student in the Department of Communications’ moving image studies program, have created a way to make the history of the Capitol come alive for its visitors - all at the tap of an iPhone.

Now available for free from the Apple iTunes App Store is the Georgia Capitol Tour, an application for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad full of multimedia content - photos and videos of state governors, legislators, leaders, activists and even a former U.S. President - that gives visitors a handheld Capitol tour.

“This place has incredible power,” says Crimmins, director of the GSU Center for Neighborhood and Metropolitan Studies. “But what happens with many people is that they go to places and they have no way of connecting where they are with the past.”

With the new app, people will get that connection in a dynamic and engaging way, Escobar says.

“Part of the fascination with this is that you can learn in a way that appeals to you, and learn it at your own pace,” he says. “You can create the storyline for yourself. The experience is not the same for everyone, and because it can be catered to you by your own choosing, it makes it interesting and becomes a new component to learning old things.”

To read the story in its entirety, please visit the GSU Magazine online at:

Story provided by Georgia State University

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