tidBITS: Augment U.S. National Park Vacations with Chimani’s iOS Apps

tblogo25rIf “you’re thinking you’d like to experience the vast riches of America’s national park system during the National Park Service’s centennial, download a few of Chimani’s apps and start exploring,” says Adam C. Engst in an extensive new review of Chimani’s suite of mobile apps for TidBITS!, a popular online resource for Mac users.

Engst says that with print guidebooks disappearing and hard to keep up-to-date, and much online content also out-of-date and of questionable authority, it can be hard to find quality information on National Park travel.

“Enter Kerry Gallivan,” writes Engst. “Back in 2008, he was hiking up Gorham Mountain in Acadia National Park on a cold, rainy day. He had his iPhone with him, but he had neither cell service nor an app that could provide information on routes and trail conditions. Chilled and wet, he came up with the concept for Chimani on the spot, and founded the company with Shaun Meredith two years later to develop offline guidebook apps for U.S. national parks.”

As Engst details, the Chimani suite of apps has grown to include the flagship Chimani National Parks app — with information on 400-plus National Park Service units — plus 20 apps focused on individual parks, from Acadia to Zion. The review notes that the new 3.0 version of the Chimani apps uses a tile-based interface, “lovely” photos, new gaming features, and customizable maps.

“To be clear, the target audience for Chimani’s apps is not the sort of people who venture deep into the backcountry on long, self-supported hikes (they would run out of battery quickly anyway),” writes Engst. “No, these apps are aimed more at those who prefer to drive through the parks, stopping for day hikes, museum visits, and sightseeing appropriate for everyone ranging from small children to senior citizens.”

To read the full review, click here.