Three students studying mobile applications and services at Georgia Tech Lorraine have created an app to be used as a guide while touring historic French World War I battle sites. Their web platform allows those managing World War I-related websites, historians, or relatives of veterans of the battles to upload content, which is moderated and then transferred to the mobile app. Visitors to the battle site use the app to discover hidden history as they travel the Lorraine region.
The students, Alice Barbe, Soufiane Karrakchou and Taha Raouz, studied at Georgia Tech's Lorraine campus during spring 2016. As part of a course taught by professor Matthew Sanders, they created the app, dubbed "WWI'nLorraine." It gives visitors travelling the area notifications when they are near a WWI site and allows them to view content about the site directly in the app. The app also contains curated tours providing a more organized trip through the area.
The Georgia Tech campus opened in Metz, France in 1990 and offers year-round undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. programs in electrical and computer engineering, computer science and mechanical engineering. With the centennial of the United States involvement in World War I being observed over the next two years, professor Matthew Sanders, working with Dr. Monique Seefried of Atlanta, a member of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, encouraged the students to help tell the story of American troops in the region. Inspired by the lack of accessible content regarding more remote WWI sites in Lorraine, the students' early focus was on the Cote de Chatillon, where the Georgia Machine Gun battalion from Macon distinguished itself under the orders of Douglas MacArthur in October 1918.
App users can discover history that "is often hidden in plain sight behind trees on the side of a winding country road, or in some small village," says Alice Barbe. Large historical sites such as Verdun or Douaumont tell the bigger picture, but the smaller stories and sites give special insight into the nature of the war and its long-lasting implications, she says.
The mobile app is still in prototype phase, but can be viewed below:
The web platform for content sharing is at http://wwin-lorraine.net23.net/ (please be patient, as the prototype takes time to load).
The Georgia World War I Centennial Commission is proud to showcase the work of students from our state's University System, and hopes that in so doing it will enable them further to develop this mobile app at other sites in Lorraine, France and even the many Georgia World War I installations and memorials.
$200,000 Giveaway to Rescue Ailing WW1 Memorials
In a program launched in July, 2016 The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library have announced a $200,000 matching grant challenge offering awards for up to 100 local projects around the country.
Kenneth Clarke, President and CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library stated, "The words 'Lest We Forget' appear on World War I memorials across the nation. Sadly, however, many of these memorials are in need of conservation and restoration, in this, their centennial year."
To get one of the matching grants, applicants need to A) identify local World War I memorials; B) put together a proposal for their memorial in distress; C) submit their project for consideration; D) raise local funds for a match of up to $2,000 per project.
The details of the program are found on the project website at ww1cc.org/100Memorials
The "100 CITIES / 100 MEMORIALS" program is particularly well-suited for community-service projects hosted by veteran group posts, historical/cultural/community organizations, faith groups, school programs, scout troops, local sports teams, and motivated citizens.
Dan Dayton, Executive Director of the US WWI Centennial Commission, commented:
"The program is designed to foster a sense of heritage in local communities and to recognize local stories & people who were involved in the war. This $200,000 initiative also creates a way for community members to participate in the national World War I Centennial that begins in 2017".
To qualify for a matching grant, a project proposal needs to be submitted by November 11, 2016. Memorials need to be located in the 50 states or US territories, and the preservation work must be completed (or have been completed) between January 1, 2014 and November 11, 2018.
This veteran honoring program has been endorsed and adopted via a national executive resolution of the American Legion, who itself was formed right after WWI.
For more information about the program go to WW1CC.org/100memorials