In case you were curious, and if you are a fellow Wiki-addict who loves obscure local trivia, there is now an app that will read it to you.
The app is developed by Malte Ubl, the tech lead for Google's AMP project. The app simply detects the users' geolocation and matches it to relevant Wikipedia articles. The app then goes ahead by reading the articles out loud, kind of a smart passenger who just happens to know everything about the history of the town you are driving – or walking – through.
The program also allows users to click through to find other interesting facts from nearby locales. It is set up to work in Google Chrome, Firefox and other browsers that support GPS and speech synthesis. The app was built using Glitch; a website started by Anil Dash last year that allows coders to make bite-sized web apps.
✨NEW✨— Malte Ubl, Immigrant (@cramforce) July 6, 2018
After wanting to have this for years, I just built this little app that will read you Wikipedia articles about the places you drive through on a road trip 🚗https://t.co/ODDy7UKrgE
"I made [the app] for myself because I frequently drive through places and was thinking it would be nice to learn more about my environment while I have nothing better to do sitting behind the steering wheel," Ubl said.
However, just like all the other apps that get its first launch, the system is not perfect. According to comments on the initial Twitter post, some people in Vienna, Virginia were read articles about Vienna, Austria. People in Cambridge, New York heard about Cambridge in the United Kingdom, most likely due to the fact that these articles are first to pop-up when one looks up city names on Wikipedia.
As Ubl mentioned in the Twitter post, he’s welcoming patches to fix these (and any other) issues.