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Released in late 2010, Open Buildings iPhone app has grown into an essential tool for anyone with an interest in the built environment. The most recent software upgrade has removed the need to register, meaning digital access to your surrounding built environment is easier than ever.
Open up the app and you are greeted with a series of options. Browse featured buildings, recent additions, or the most popular inclusions in the Open Building library. You can also submit a building not currently on file. Where the app really becomes useful though is in its ‘buildings nearby’ feature. See notable buildings in your vicinity in list form or on a map, and click on their summary to reveal a wealth of information and options. As well as photographs, the building’s full address is listed alongside information on the building’s background. This ranges from year of construction, to the developer responsible for the project.
Of course, no app would be complete without the option to share content via social media services, with Open Buildings unsurprisingly offering this feature. You can also upload your own images of nearby buildings, as well as ‘check-in’ to the venue in a Foursquare style.
The app is presented in such a simple, crisp manner that it makes architecture accessible even to those with a passing interest in the subject. And for those of us who demand a bit more information, Open Buildings for the iPhone does not disappoint.