Article Lead Image

library of congress

Field Trip app puts women’s history on the map

The app now includes pop-ups about awesome historical women near you.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw


Posted on Mar 22, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 6:20 am CDT

Women’s achievements are often overlooked by the historical record, which is why projects like #FilmHerStory and SPARK’s Field Trip app are so important.

Field Trip is a Google app that works like an automated guidebook, sharing pop-up guides based on your location. And thanks to volunteer historians from the feminist organization SPARK, it’s going to map women’s history as well. Now when Field Trip users are near a place where an influential or interesting woman made history, their phone will buzz and offer a pop-up about her.

In this video, a few of SPARK’s volunteers give examples of women they have researched to include in the app.

“It connects women’s stories to specific landmarks,” says SPARK executive director Dana Edell, “so that wherever you are in the world, you could get an alert on your phone saying, ‘Hey, did you know that a woman once did a really cool thing right nearby?'” 

The app is also crowdsourcing new suggestions, so if you know someone you think should be included in the app, just email SPARK with your idea.

SPARK has introduced more than 100 influential historical women to the app so far, which doesn’t sound like many until you realize how few women are publicly recognized elsewhere. As SPARK’s website points out, there are no U.S. holidays named after women, no women on U.S. paper currency, and fewer than 25 percent of postage stamps feature female historical figures.

Things like postage stamps and bank notes may not teach us much, but they’re a constant reminder of the historical figures they represent. Without everyday examples like this, it’s easy to forget the achievements of women who otherwise would not receive the recognition they deserve.

H/T The Mary Sue | Photo via Harris & Ewing/Wikimedia (Library of Congress)

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 22, 2015, 1:12 pm CDT