An App for NYC Subway Art
A trip to the Big Apple warrants a host of touristy activities: a carriage ride in Central Park, a pastrami sandwich at Carnegie Deli, a musical on Broadway, a skate at the Rockefeller Center, and so forth. While locals and well-traveled guests know the city has infinitely more to offer than a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery and a shopping trip down Fifth Avenue, it’s impossible not to indulge in at least one cliché activity when exploring the teeming city streets. New York’s Metropolitan Transit Agency has teamed up with app maker Meridian to create an app, and a personalized experience, for the sight-seeing artist.
The app curates 237 works from the MTA’s Arts for Transit program which decorate the sub-levels of the New York City Subway, the Long Island Railroad, the Metropolitan North Railroad, and the MTA Bridges and Tunnels. Smart phone users access information and history about each piece as well as directions (which are navigated turn-by-turn for select sites) to each work.
“We get lots of positive feedback about our art collection,” Sandra Bloodworth, Director of MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design, said in a press release. “It’s a part of riding the train that people love. Now we’ve made it easier to find out more about the collection. We’d already posted a significant amount of information about our art online, but with this app, it is as if you have a museum in the palm of your hand.”
Meridian is familiar with these kinds of venues. The mobile software company specializes in working for location-based businesses,including museums, retailers, and hospitals. This not only makes the new app a way of organizing information about the artworks but also a way-finder for tourists and locals alike.
“The app serves a dual role, not only as a glossy, digital art compendium, but also as an indoor navigation aid,” Kiyo Kubo, CEO of Meridian, said in the press release. “New Yorkers have access to a huge collection of world-renowned art, and we are delighted to be able to showcase the art using the same unique and innovative mobile technology we use for many museum clients.”
The app organizes the artwork by subway line and by artist. Art enthusiasts can look up works by emerging and established artists (Roy Lichtenstein and Sol Lewitt are among the contributors), while novices or scheduled travelers can find pieces near specific stops. New schematic maps are in the works, and the app is available for both iPhone and Android users.
Add it to the must-see list.
Photos from design boom