The place that was once a well kept secret among street artists and educated enthusiasts, has now become a common tourist destination. We are talking about Wynwood of course, a neighborhood now highlighted in every Miami tourist guide as a "must do" while visiting Miami. Unfortunately, once in Wynwood, visitors quickly realize that in order to find the relevant murals in the neighborhood; they are going to need a guide.
Printed maps are basically useless. By the time that a printed map goes to press, the mural is more than likely gone. Often visitors are seen struggling with outdated oversize maps, not to mention looking like a target. For years we have been hearing about plans to develop a Wynwood phone app, but until recently there were none.
Currently there is a few of them available, and along with Wynwood Murals Publisher Francisco De La Torre and Photo Editor Diana Larrea we have decided to put them all to the test. Using the epicenter of the neighborhood as a starting point, the two headed to Panther Coffee and fired up their phones to test the three different available options that we are aware of at the moment: Wynwood Guide, Wynwood Tour Guide and Wynwood Map.
Wynwood Guide While the Wynwood Guide doesn't feature any street art, the free app developed by the Wynwood Arts District Association is a great source of information for anything Wynwood. Updated on a regular basis, the Wynwood Guide is a great tool to explore the area's galleries and restaurants. One of our favorite features is that you can search the map by "events" and quickly find out about openings and art exhibits. The Events section is fairly well updated and could be a very handy tool even for those that know the area. While it only features the galleries that are members of the association, almost all the relevant galleries and restaurants are indeed members of WADA. Considering that the app is free, we feel that the Wynwood Guide is a great tool to have when exploring around the neighborhood. The Wynwood Guide is available for download at the iTunes store or at www.wynwoodmiami.com
Wynwood Tour Guide Released early this year, the Wynwood Tour Guide app is the first real app available for download. Overall a great tool for those interested in exploring the neighborhood and learning about the street art scene. The Artist's Profiles section is perhaps our favorite thing about this app, allowing users to get some basic information about the artist and their work. We also found the Wynwood Tour Guide to have the best photos out of the apps that we tested. However, this app hasn't been recently updated (December 2013 according to our calculations) and many of the murals featured are no longer on display. So while it could be a frustrating experience to the unfamiliar visitor looking to explore the street art scene, at only $1.99 it couldn't hurt to make the download if you happen to have an iPhone.
Wynwood Map Even though it is not exactly a downloadable app, the Wynwood Map website works on any phone with a browser. The brainchild of Robert William De Los Rios, is in our opinion by far the best option for anyone interested in seeing the many murals of Wynwood. The extensive database available at your fingertips worked extremely well in our iPhones and is updated on a regular basis, to the point that we couldn't find any inaccuracies at all no matter how hard we tried. While the photos could be slightly better, Wynwood Map allows you to search by both location and by artist. Not only will Wynwood Map help you find your favorite murals, it will also show you every mural that was ever in that particular wall. Another amazing feature of the Wynwood Map database is that when searching "by artist" it shows you if it is no longer on display, so that when you venture out into the concrete jungle you find exactly what you were looking for. We were so impressed by wynwoodmap.com and the constant updating of the map, that we would like to nominate it for a webby award.
Testing the Apps. Mural by MTO
www.wynwoodmurals.com Publisher Francisco De La Torre & Photo Editor Diana Larrea