Articles | History Here

For the past two years the majority of my writing work has been penning articles and overseeing project-wide editorial coverage for History Here, a mobile app—free on iOS and Android—that tells the vast and varied story of American history through paragraph descriptions linked to points on a map. It’s been quite a journey—one that was nominated for two Webby awards in 2013. (We lost out to Lego Super Heroes Movie Maker and Chefs Feed.)

This map, from the private KML database I kept during the project, tracks History Here’s coverage pipeline. Only the blue pins are visible for users of the app. Yellow, Green and Purple represent historic sites that I identified as worthy of eventual inclusion.

In early 2014 the powers that be at A+E Networks decided to put further development of History Here on hold for a while. The app and the database that powers it will live on, but it will be a little while before any of the to-be-written sites I’d flagged in my giant spreadsheet—nearly 6,000 of them—will be written up and pushed out to the app.

That said, currently there are more than 6,000 points of interest that app users can explore—of which I personally wrote up more than 1,000* and identified an additional 2,400 for assignment to other freelancers.

* That amounts to around 115,000 published words, not counting titles and lat/lon coordinates. That’s a little longer than Walden and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, or about half an East of Eden.

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