Saturday, June 14, 2008

National Parks

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Sure gas is $4.25 a gallon, so driving to that National Park could be costly, but Forbes has a new article out that reports on what the Park Service is doing to get people out.

WebRangers allows users to rack up nifty-looking badges while completing 47 different educational games like a lesson in how to run a dog sled team, a tutorial on civil war history and a primer in Arctic artifacts.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, the agency is using the site to stoke interest in the outdoors. Mayo says the online games encourage children to prod their parents into taking them to a nearby park. It helps that each WebRangers session begins at a personalized "ranger station," where children can easily view Webcams located at national parks like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Denali.

Between Aug. 29, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2007, according to Mayo, WebRangers had 440,000 unique users, with an average of 35,000 to 40,000 page views a month and participants from 87 different countries.