SAN FRANCISCO — California First Lady Maria Shriver and Adobe Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch unveiled the California Legacy Trails, a new interactive feature of the California Museum Web site that brings the state’s history and culture to life online.
The California Legacy Trails use Adobe Flash and other Adobe technologies to create engaging digital paths that highlight iconic Californians and how their innovative achievements impacted the world at large.
In a keynote at the Adobe MAX 2008 user conference, Shriver and Lynch debuted the new interactive feature, created to appeal to a global audience as a way to experience California’s living history.
The site, built and designed by Euro RSCG, enables visitors to experience “Only in California” stories in a new format, Adobe said. The inaugural trail, “Remarkable Women,” was envisioned and financed by the Women’s Conference. This trail mirrors the “California Remarkable Women” exhibit at The California Museum, which highlights women who have made accomplishments that have shaped California’s culture and history, the company said. Visitors can experience the new interactive feature at www.californiamuseum.org.
“The idea for this came from the Freedom Trail in Boston, where I’m from,” Shriver said. She added that as she listened to Lynch and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen speak she couldn’t understand anything they were saying. “I thought I was at a Star Trek convention and I thought I’d leave, and then I looked around and saw that it was 99 percent men, so I thought I’d stay,” she said. “Maybe we could do a men’s trail,” she quipped.
Meanwhile, in a private, invitation-only VIP event formally launching the California Legacy Trails, Shriver said, “California is known for its innovation and creativity. I think it’s so exciting to see all these young kids going on the trail and finding out about all these great women.” Adobe invited several young students from local schools to attend the event, where Shriver engaged individually with the students and signed autographs.
“California represents innovation, creativity, diversity and pioneering trailblazers- and I’m proud to partner with The California Museum to launch the first-ever California Legacy Trail to highlight the best of California in an interactive, fun and engaging way,” said Shriver. “The California Legacy Trails provide an incredible tool and a practical way to learn about California no matter where you are. And it’s my hope that now we will bring the inspiration of what’s -Only in California’ into the homes and lives of not only the people of this great state, but to the entire world.”
“The California Legacy Trails is to the California experience as the MP3 player is to music and e-mail is to communication,” said California Museum Executive Director Claudia French. “The Museum is proud to partner with Adobe and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation to make California’s vibrant stories and real places accessible to anyone anywhere – in a captivating and innovative online destination.”
Built using Adobe Flex, Flash and Adobe Creative Suite, the California Legacy Trails feature cutting-edge technologies and interactive elements including: Customized e-postcards featuring iconic images to share; an e-passport of landmarks throughout California; audio and visual multimedia components; and areas with user-submitted content and social networking features.
Interactive features of the California Legacy Trails enable site visitors to post their own California stories, pictures and comments, and share profiles with friends, creating a dynamic online community. Shriver has posted her own “Remarkable Woman,” as has activist Dolores Huerta.
“People can come on and make their own trails,” Shriver said.
Plans for future development include a Learning Lab, a rich Internet application based on Adobe AIR technology. Targeted at educators, students, professionals and visitors to California, the Learning Lab will be an automatically updated desktop application that can be used both online and offline; future support for mobile devices is also planned, Adobe said. The Lab will enable educators to log on and select projects for students; students will be able to complete assignments such as quizzes, essays and photography projects.
“The Learning Lab that Adobe has come up with can accelerate learning,” Shriver said. “The learning concept is endless. And the possibilities for these trails are endless.”