Curious about the historical marker you just whizzed past on your drive? If you reside in Texas, there’s an app to satisfy your curiosity. Texas Roadside History provides information on historical markers in the state through a user-friendly mobile application.
Texas Roadside History Development
The initial idea for Texas Roadside History came from a Windows Phone 7 “lock-in” event organized by the Slalom Consulting Dallas office. The team wanted to learn how to utilize Microsoft’s SQL Azure and Azure Web roles effectively.
Harnessing SQL Azure
During the app’s development, SQL Azure was employed to take advantage of the Geography data type and the STDistance function. These key features enabled the team to query historical markers based on proximity.
Exposing Data via WCF Web Services
A WCF Web service was created to perform proximity queries and generate an OData endpoint using WCF Data Services for basic data access needs.
Approval Process and Impressions
After multiple submissions and rejections, Texas Roadside History was finally approved in the WP7 Marketplace. Microsoft’s thorough and detailed rejection reports allowed the team to focus on improving the app’s quality.
Expanding to iOS
Following the app’s initial development, the team decided to explore the world of iOS. With the help of MonoTouch, it was easier to get started, and the focus shifted to learning iOS APIs. To understand more about consuming WCF and OData services, check out these previous posts: iOS and WCF and Consuming an OData Feed.
App Store Submission Experience
The Apple App Store submission process via iTunes Connect was quite different from the WP7 Marketplace experience. Although it was faster, taking only four days from submission to approval, the iTunes Connect site was more challenging to navigate.
For those interested in exploring Texas Roadside History, download the app using the following links:
Texas Roadside History serves as a comprehensive mobile app that has helped the team explore the mobile development space. History buffs, or even those who are just curious about the story behind a marker, can give the app a try and explore the rich history of Texas right at their fingertips.