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2011.08.15 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Smartphone App by UNO Students Identifies Public Art

Omaha - A group of students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) have put the finishing touches on a new smartphone application (or app) that allows users to identify public art pieces throughout the Omaha area.

The free Public Art Omaha app is available for iPhone and Android, and was created by the following five UNO students earlier this year: Maninder Hora (graduate student, Management Information Systems); Shawna MacNabb (junior, Aviation); Ryan Peters (sophomore, IT Innovation); Edgar Vazquez (senior, Computer Science); and Benjamin Wicks (sophomore, Bioinformatics).

The five students are members of The IS&T Attic, a web development student organization housed in UNO’s College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T), located at the University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute, 67th and Pacific Streets.

The new smartphone app was born from the Public Art Omaha website, which another group of UNO students worked on in 2010.

The website and smartphone app feature more than 300 art pieces by more than 200 artists, and are displayed with more than 500 photographs, all within the Omaha area.

Users can also add new art pieces to the website and smartphone app.

The art pieces are located in 11 parts of the Omaha-metro area, and are searchable online and via the smartphone app by artist, medium, location, owner and the year of the work.

Within the app, each art piece also features dimensions and a brief description, such as the history of the work.

A joint project of the Omaha Public Art Commission and Omaha by Design, Public Art Omaha allows users to track public art events and announcements, locate temporary installations, learn more about permanent installations and more.

“Mobile devices are everywhere, and they have brought new opportunities and new challenges to our developers. This is the first app produced by the College of Information Science and Technology. Not only did our students learn how to create the app itself, but they learned about managing code in a team setting, the limitations of the mobile platform, memory management, mobile-to-server interactions, release deadlines and the importance of good design and testing,” said Zac Fowler, IT outreach director for UNO’s College of Information Science and Technology.

Fowler added: “The students did such a great job. We couldn't be more pleased with how the project and product turned out.”

To download the free iPhone app, visit: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/public-art-omaha/id445659983?mt=8

To download the free Android app, visit: https://market.android.com/details?id=edu.unomaha.ist.pao

Visit www.ist.unomaha.edu for more information on UNO’s College of Information Science and Technology.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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