K-State Research and Extension News
September 09, 2011
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New State Fair App Makes Finding Your Way Easy



HUTCHINSON, Kan. – This year, there’s no need to worry about locating your favorite exhibits at the Kansas State Fair – a savvy 4-H tech team has developed a smartphone application for that.



The virtual map should save steps, and also promises to let fairgoers learn more about exhibits as they move about the fair, said Beth Hecht, advisor to the 4-H tech team that developed the mobile app, available for smartphones. To download, go to the Market or App Store on your smartphone and install the “Layar app”, and then search for “Kansas State Fair.”



“It’s like looking through a camera,” said Hecht, who noted that choosing a 4-H livestock area will call up a barn or 4-H Centennial Hall, a clover.  



After choosing a destination, click on “Take me there” to bring up an easy-to-follow map, said Hecht, who noted that general locations, attractions and services such as food vendors, family-friendly restrooms, etc., are included in the virtual map.



“The project is an extension of the 4-H geospatial literacy project,” said Hecht, who suggested that the new app may offer opportunities to Kansas communities in which 4-H members familiar with the technologies might develop a virtual map of local features, local historic sites, etc.



In developing the first-time state fair app, Hecht worked closely with Kansas 4-H members Marta Payne, from Ransom, and August Dunlop, from Parker, who serve on the National 4-H Leadership Team for the Geographic Information and Global Positioning Systems (GIS-GPS) Program.



Hecht introduced the technologies with geocaching, and then worked with local officials to match teens building skills with community-based service learning projects.



Earlier this year, she worked with the Leavenworth County 4-H Tech Team in developing a countywide Foreign Animal Disease Biosecurity Map pinpointing the locations of herds of 100 or more cattle, dairy cows, etc. to assist emergency management professionals in the county.



The 4-H map earned second place in a K-12 division of an international mapmaking contest and praise from local officials, said Hecht, who noted that the award-winning map will be displayed in 4-H Centennial Hall during the 2011 Kansas State Fair.



Beth Hecht is a member of the State 4-H Youth Development Department, and associate K-State Research and Extension 4-H specialist for geospatial literacy.



More information on educational 4-H programs is available at local K-State Research and Extension offices and online. More information is available about the 2011 Kansas State Fair.




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K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Nancy Peterson
nancyp@ksu.edu
K-State Research & Extension News

Beth Hecht is at 913-683-9035 or bhecht@ksu.edu