The Interpretive Media Laboratory at Los Angeles Historic Site (UCLA –IMLab) has unveiled its mobile website (http://lashp-trails.org) along with an interactive sculptural trailhead located below the historic Broadway Bridge on Baker Street. The goal of the mobile website is to engage users in participatory exploration of the community surrounding LASHP via their smartphones. The trailhead, known as “Wellspring” is a sculpture created by local artists Michael Parker and Troy Rounseville using all recycled material from Los Angeles State Historic Park and referencing the “Zanja Madre” or mother ditch, which brought water from the Los Angeles River to El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the birthplace of modern Los Angeles. The mobile website can only be activate from this location and guides users to discovery spots with historical information and pictures, and also suggests creative opportunities exercise along the curated routes.
A compass/ arrow navigation tool points its users to hot spots along the three curated routes. The Park Rim Trail is 3 ½ miles, El Pueblo/ Chinatown is 4.5 miles Trail, and for the more adventurous there is the 6.5 mile Trail which loops through Elysian Park. During the demonstration walk, the crowd explored 3 Hotspots showing information about the Buena Vista Viaduct (Historical North Broadway Bridge), The LA River Station, and the Flat Iron/ Ice House building which was instrumental in the agricultural boom of California. The goal of LASHP-Trails is not only to promote physical activity, but to engage individuals with their city’s history and prompt consideration of this city’s future. Ultimately, the goal is for the public to tell their own stories about Urban Los Angeles and help establish a network of interconnected urban trails. UCLA and State Parks see the mobile website evolving to become a community authoring system. This would allow individuals to add their own stories and histories related to place and curate their own trails tailored to specific interests.