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GR Walks app brings local history to your fingertips

9:52 AM, Jul 20, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Have you ever admired the beautiful architecture in Grand Rapids and wondered about the city's past?

A new app puts local history at your fingertips. 

GR Walks guides users on walking tours of three neighborhoods. The smartphone and iPod app highlights 39 landmarks in Heritage Hill, Eastown, as well as East Hills and uses audio and historical photos to tell their story.

Creator Josh Leo says he was inspired by Rick Steves' audio walking tours while traveling in Europe and wanted to learn more about Grand Rapids when he returned home.

"People are really interested in the history of this city and some of the buildings they walk past every day and didn't know anything about. Now they get a fuller back story and it helps people feel a sense of place and a deeper connection to the city," said Leo.

Leo spent two years researching historical sites in Grand Rapids and another year writing. He and partners at Calvin College hope to expand GR Walks to other neighborhoods soon.

The app was a winner of the Rick DeVos' inaugural 5x5 Night in 2011.

GR Walks is free and available in the Apple iTunes Store and Android Market. (http://grwalks.com/)

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