Local company builds award-winning app | ParkRecord.com

Local company builds award-winning app

Gina Barker, The Park Record

Park City tech company Rally Interactive is working its way into the big leagues. The digital design and development studio started receiving international recognition and awards following the release its most recently created iPhone and iPad applications, a project that partnered the company with National Geographic.

Rally Interactive was created by three founding partners, all of whom moved to Park City for the lifestyle.

"Besides what we do and what we make, this company is rooted in a lifestyle," said Thomas Cooke, the managing partner for Rally Interactive. "We could be in Silicon Valley, but we love Utah. We love the mountains."

The app, National Parks by National Geographic, was launched for the iPhone in April and for the iPad two weeks ago. According to National Geographic, the free app offers a global, interactive map with filter options based on activity and seasonality, a personalized user space to track favorite parks and activities, thousands of points of interest, all tagged with GPS coordinates, must-sees and must-dos for each park curated by National Geographic editors, photo galleries for each park and photo tips from National Geographic photographers. The app even recreates the popular National Park Passport program, with collectible, hand-drawn park stamps that can be shared on social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

"National Parks was selected as an Apple Design Award winner for its strong design and attention to detail," a statement from the Apple Company read. "It has high production quality, subtle and compelling animations and transitions, stunning photo galleries, tips about where and how photos were taken, and rare vintage images from the National Geographic Archive."

The company landed a job working for the internationally recognized publication, National Geographic, after launching a similar, micro-version of their award-winning app for Utah.com, an online limited corporation that promotes Utah tourism.

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"We really wanted to have say in the design and development process," Cooke said. "We partnered, or technically vendored with Utah.com, but we still wanted to have input on the concept."

Rally Interactive created an iPad app called Canyon Country National Parks, what Cooke called a simple app, a guide to national parks in the state based on a map the site already offered.

"That’s what got National Geographic’s attention," Cooke added.

The Canyon Country National Parks app was featured on the iTunes Store What’s Hot page, launching it into national and international recognition. In the iTunes Rewind, an annual collection of the best apps launched that year, the Canyon Country National Parks app was selected as one of the Top Five Travel Apps.

When National Geographic decided to create something similar but on a national scale, the company approached Rally Interactive to compete for the job. The small team went up against 100-person agencies, but ultimately received the job.

Since the apps were released, Cooke has received interest from other companies and organizations, a fact he said Rally Interactive owes to National Geographic. But the company hopes to begin producing its own content, apps and websites their team creates.

"We started with this really small project that got a lot of love in design community," Cooke said. " We hope to continue that with our own projects."

To download the app for free, search National Parks by National Geographic in the iTunes Store or visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com/mobile.