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There's an app that will send you an alert when you're near a spot a woman made history

Posted by in tech
              
Stories about Boadicca could soon be blowing up your phone if you're in Norfolk

Rediscovering fierce and clever women whose contributions to history have been sadly overlooked? Believe it or not, there's an app for that.

Spark, a gender equality collective, has designed an app called Women on the Map which does exactly what it says on the tin - every time you are near a place where a woman achieved something extraordinary, your phone will buzz with an alert saying so.

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Some members of Spark, a collective of around 30 women under the age of 23, noticed that women's achievements are not honoured with statues, plaques and street names in the same way men are: in New York City, for example, there are 145 statues of men, and just five of women.

They decided to use modern technology to start rewriting the history books, crowdsourcing the stories of around 119 women in 28 different countries so far.

Anyone can nominate a woman to be included by emailing Spark with 300 words about someone they feel should be included in their community or area who has been neglected by mainstream historical narratives.

“We didn’t want to start with women who everyone had heard of,” Edell told Time. “We want the project to expand what it means to be part of history.” So far, 60 per cent of the stories are about women of color.

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American-born French dancer, singer, and actress Josephine Baker

If you find yourself near Le Vésinet in Paris, your phone will buzz about Josephine Baker, and in San Francisco you can learn about Mary Ellen Pleasant, who was born in the city as a slave and went on to become a major civil rights activist. If you're in Lyme Regis, you'll be told about paleontologist Mary Anning, who discovered fossils of the Plesiosaurus in 1823.

The app is available through Google Field Trip, a background app that sends notifications when you approach significant destinations. Just turn on the 'Women on the Map' option and you're ready to start exploring women's history.

Check out Spark's video introducing the app below:


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