John Muir Geo-Tourism App Project (JMGTA)

Project Principal Investigator: Nicola Lercari, Ph.D.

Project Members: Aldo Montes-Sanchez, Melvis Villeda

Community Partners: John Muir Geotourism Center

Project Description:

In 1868-69 John Muir made his way on foot and by horse carriage from San Francisco through the central valley, and up into Yosemite. This legendary journey resulted in John Muir’s famed work My First Summer in the Sierra which was a landmark piece of literature for historians, naturalists, and conservationist alike. A work in progress, the JMGTA will be a mobile app that will assist anyone interested in retracing Muir’s footsteps in hiking, biking, or driving sections of the paths from his adventures.

The app will be linked to google maps to assist people in navigation of Muir’s Routes. Resources such as the Holt-Atherton special collections, Sierra Club, National Park Service, John Muir Center in Coulterville, communities living along the John Muir highway (JC 132) and in the foothills, other Muir enthusiasts, as well as the published/unpublished writings from Muir himself are being utilized to integrate information into the app. Dr. Nicola Lercari and his students will continue to make trips up into the Sierra foothills and Yosemite to collect data for the app in the form of GPS locations, photography, and relevant historic information. Stories, quotes, letters, journal entries, drawings, photographs, information on plants/animals, and geographic locations for tourist destinations will be integrated into the app and will be accessible from home or on the Muir Highway.

Additionally, the app content will be fully downloadable so it can be used in the absence of internet connection. Not only will this mobile app bring people closer to the culture that has developed around Muir, it will also bring more economic activity to the wonderful little towns along or near the JC 132 such as Waterford, La Grange, Coulterville, and Snelling via the functionality directing people to lodgings, restaurants, and places of historical interest along their route.