TECH BYTE: Tech You Can Use at National Parks


FORT OGLETHORPE, Ga. (WDEF) — The summer travel season is underway, and your road trip could include a national park.

The National Park Service is implementing technology at its locations all across the country.

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At the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Park Ranger Chris Barr says visitors can take advantage of a cell phone tour.

You can call a phone number to listen to a recording with a park ranger about that stop, or go to a mobile website.

“At each of the tour stops, you can again select which stop you’re at, and now on that mobile website, we’ve still got that audio,” Barr said. You can listen to the ranger. Some of them actually have video from ranger programs that have taken place at these particular locations. It’ll have historic maps, photographs, or even links to stories about individuals who might’ve participated in the battle out here in this area.”

If you don’t want to type in a website, just use the QR code on any of the signs throughout the park.

“You can scan that QR code, and it’ll take you right to the website for that particular tour stop,” Barr said.

Many national parks also have a smartphone app.

“Our app is actually a database of all of the nearly a thousand monuments, markers, tablets and commemorative features located throughout the park,” he said.

Barr says the app makes it easier for visitors to find specific monuments they want to see in such a big park.

“What that app is, is just a database essentially of those locations,” he said. “You can open up that app, type in which regiment you’re looking for, and it’ll pull up a listing of all of their monuments, tablets, markers, anything out in the battlefield, and then you can hit the little arrow on it, and it’ll flip it over into the maps app on your phone, and navigate you right there with turn by turn directions.”

Barr says frequent park visitors participating in their passport program can also keep track of their stops with the Eastern National passport app.

“And almost kind’ve think of it as checking in to a national park. You can actually upload photographs to it from your visit, and kind’ve use that app as sort’ve a souvenir of your trip to really any national park.”

To find out if a national park you want to visit has a smartphone app, just do a search for it in your phone’s app store.

Barr says to also check social media for updates on what’s going on at any of the parks.