Molenda creates ‘Pivot Stillwater’ app for locals, tourists
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Stillwater resident, and former 3M employee Bob Molenda is working on creating an app called “Pivot Stillwater” for Stillwater locals and tourists. The app will help people to explore and see how different historical sites throughout Stillwater have changed over time.
The app will have a historical map of Stillwater along with past and present photos, narratives, audio files and many other features for people to check out and explore with.
Molenda’s family moved to Stillwater in 1971. This was when they realized Stillwater was an important location in Minnesota’s history. Molenda and many others enjoyed looking through Stillwater photographer, John Runk’s historical photos of Stillwater. These photos along with hearing residents and visitors wonder about Stillwater’s past inspired Molenda to create an app that could help educate and spread appreciation for Stillwater’s history to both residents and tourists.
Molenda said, “Today’s technology of digital photography, Global Positioning Satellites and digital smart phones allow us to bring history into everyone’s pocket or purse. Pivot Stillwater is a combination of today’s digital technology with John Runk’s Photo Collection of Stillwater.”
Molenda and his team have been working to develop content for the app since fall of 2016. Although, there have been some obstacles that Molenda’s team is continuing to work through. So, in the meantime Molenda decided to use this information on an interactive website- Pivotstillwater.org, which has many of the same functions the app will have. Molenda and his team are still working towards the production of the app.
The app will have many features including a “Time Tunnel” feature which will allow viewers to view a photo created by morphing one photo from the past with one photo from the present. The app will also allow people to navigate through Stillwater using a historical map marked with historical sites along with different photos and information about each location.
Molenda said, “When the app is ready, you will be able to use your camera function to view a location and provide a visual cue of the historical site. Clicking on the visual cue will open a historical photo that will have a swipe feature that will open another photo of the location.”
Molenda is also interested in having high school volunteers to help with his project and eventually make this a project that the community works together on. People with all different interests or talents in areas such as writing, history research, computers, photography, or working with others would be appreciated. Molenda is hoping to work with people around the community to create an interactive app that will intrigue and educate citizens about the history of Stillwater, and hopefully expand upon that someday.
After talking with Molenda, English teacher at Stillwater Area High School, Kim Thompson said, “ I think it [Pivot Stillwater] is a really good, creative, useful tool that people will use and also something that can continue to be developed overtime. I think it is an awesome way for visitors to learn about the history, but also locals.”
Molenda and many others are looking forward to continuing to work with the community to produce an app that will help tourists and locals to explore the history of Stillwater.
Molenda said, “The Pivot Stillwater website and app will literally put our history and stories into people’s hands, allowing them to visually experience some of the changes that have shaped Stillwater and, in a sense, making them part of a new and growing virtual Stillwater community.”