The terrazzo stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are among the most indelible images of Los Angeles. Over the years, however, the stories behind many of the more than 2,400 stars embedded in the sidewalks along Hollywood and Vine had faded.
In 2010, the 50th anniversary of the Walk of Fame’s creation, the Los Angeles Times opened its archives to create an interactive encyclopedia of many of Hollywood’s most influential players. The companion iPhone app integrates a Flash presentation that puts readers on the streets of Hollywood to view each star and its precise location with a database packed with additional historical data.
The mobile app’s augmented reality allows users to point their iPhones and see the stars layered directly on the screen. For those without video-capable devices, map mode points you in the right direction. Planning a visit? You can make a list of your favorite stars and The Times’ app will create your custom tour. You can find stars by name, by block, by type or by GPS location.
Through painstaking research and innovative design, the database allows readers to jump to points elsewhere in L.A. and beyond to learn more about significant locations in the lives of the stars; where they were born, went to school, worked, married, died and were buried. More than 2,000 images dating back to the turn of the century were pulled from The Times’ photo archives.
In a twist on six degrees of separation, other stars on the walk are connected with descriptions of how they knew each other. Archival stories are a click away. Readers are invited to share their own memories and stories — as dozens of former “House Party” kids did when Art Linkletter died in May at the age of 97.
After launch, a reader from Wisconsin wrote: “Thanks for all of the info about the virtual Walk of Fame. As a 60 plus movie buff, I applaud your efforts especially since I will probably never get to CA to see it in person. Getting through all this info could become a new part time job. I hope I will be able to get through the data before I am 90.”
The app can also be viewed in the iTunes store: http://bit.ly/diZQ0d
Entry Link: http://projects.latimes.com/hollywood/star-walk/
This post was submitted by Tracy Boucher.