Going Back in History: Carmel Clay Historical Society to launch interactive app for Carmel residents

Carmel Clay Historical Society to launch interactive app for Carmel residents


Adhi Ramkumar, Story

The Carmel Clay Historical Society recently announced its plan to launch an app that showcases the history of Carmel.

According to Virginia Terpening, Carmel Clay Historical Society member and app coordinator, the society has been looking for ways residents of Carmel can learn about their city’s rich and unknown history. It decided to develop an app in face of the ease in accessibility to smartphones. Terpening said the society was able to partner with students at Ball State University (BSU) to develop the app through funding from the Hamilton County Visitor and Convention Bureau.

Terpening said, “The app will show you current day images and historic images at specific locations. It will also feature professionally-recorded audio to supplement them and provide information.”

According to Lucas Cayley, BSU student and Historical Society App narrator, making an app like this is a very time-consuming process, and he and the other developers were under a huge time crunch to finish the prototype of the app.

The team at BSU is now focusing on improving what they have and making sure to produce a product which is free of glitches.

“The app uses a slider in order for the viewer to easily compare the building throughout the years,” Cayley said via email. “A voice recording of the descriptions are also included. It really gives Carmel residents and tourists a great, interactive view of its history since it shows how buildings change and are modified throughout the years. Some of these buildings may be regular stops for Carmel residents, and (the app) can really show how their favorite places came to be.”

“Initially, we talked to Ball State about having 3-D images, and it turns out we ran out of funds, and they (also) ran out of time. We might launch a phase II, where we feature the houses in Old Town, since there’s so much of history associated with them.” Terpening said. “But first, we need to really see if there are any drawbacks, and get that squared away before we get too ahead.”

According to Terpening, the society is piloting the app in March to ensure the app works seamlessly when it is officially launched during Founder’s Week in April.

In addition, most of the funds have been used up towards the project, and they need more funding to develop the effort.

Terpening said, “I’m positive that the app is going to feature interesting photographs of local history. I mean, this is Carmel, and this is what it used to be over a hundred years ago. You’re part of Carmel’s history if you live here, and we want to show some of that story.”