Spring is in full bloom, and everyone seems to be getting outdoors! We’ve been anticipating this change at Crystal Bridges for a long time—so much so that our Digital Media department teamed up with our Trails and Grounds department to figure out a way to make our outdoor Trails and Grounds even more enjoyable for you. Thus I’m happy to announce Crystal Bridges’ newest mobile app, CB Outdoors – because outside our building is more than just trails and trees!
With each of our apps we listen to the feedback you give us in order to determine new functions, and I think we’ve included some great new features in CB Outdoors that you are going to love.
The app covers nearly 60 plants that are found on the Museum grounds, 27 art and architecture elements, and five natural features that are found on the property. It also covers 12 trails, including the three City of Bentonville trails that connect to the Museum’s trail system. We retained the search capability that was introduced in the State of the Art app, as well as social media sharing and favoriting, but we’ve kicked things up a notch.
We’ve heard many of our guests express that they’re sometimes unsure of where they are when they are exploring our trails. When you first open the Outdoor app, you will notice that it asks you to allow two things: one is location services; if you say yes to this you can follow your progress on the trails, as we have integrated Google Maps into the app. You can use the button in the top right corner to turn the amenities layer on and off, or use the filter menu in the bottom right corner to change the map view between plants, art & architecture, natural features, and the trails.
The other thing the app will ask you to allow is to send you notifications. We urge you to say yes to this as well, because throughout the grounds we have place iBeacons near certain plants that are very special. The beacons use Bluetooth technology to send a signal to your phone, which then notifies you that you are in close proximity to the plant and gives you the option to go directly to that page in the app. If iBeacons prove successful we will be considering expanding the uses in other apps.
Name that Plant To identify plants and other features on the grounds, you can use the menu (top left), or the quick links on the home page to view beautiful images, and choose between the different categories of features. With 120 acres to take care of, it is hard for our Trails and Grounds staff to get pictures of everything, so at launch time, we don’t have images of every plant, nor do we have multiple images of every plant. This leads us to an important feature: we would like you to submit photos to us through the app. By submitting photos, you are agreeing that other users can see them and that the Museum can use the photos (we will credit you for the images). These photos will help us fill the blank spaces in the app’s catalog of plants, and will even help the Museum’s Trails and Grounds staff monitor the health of our grounds!
Build Your Own TourAnother community activity within the app is tours. Of course there are the tours created by the Museum, but in this app we have also included the ability for you to create your own tours and share them with others. We know you all have your own ways of exploring the grounds and we can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Just like our other apps CB Outdoors is available for free on APPLE and ANDROID (coming soon) platforms. We hope you will consider installing it on your mobile device and come out to Crystal Bridges to explore and enjoy.
CB Outdoors is sponsored by Cox Communication.
NOTE: The new app is being officially launched at the Crystal Bridges Garden Party on Saturday, May 9! Come out between noon and 4 p.m. to enjoy a host of fun outdoors activities (click here to see a full listing of all the cool stuff going on). In case of rain, we will move as much indoors as we can.