No Smart Christie for the Smart Traveler #mobileapps #idea #reading #booklovers

Last year, we went to London for a couple of days. It was not my first time in London, but it was the first one that was not related to work.

If you follow this blog, you already know that I like detective novels and even collect some of them. I prefer those from Golden Age of Detective Fiction that follow the Knox’s rules (with one or to exceptions), so Agatha Christie is one of the favourites.

London is full of Christie’s references. First, The Mousetrap, the world’s longest running play (more than 60 years running). We’ve seen it before, in Lisbon, but you always want to see the “real thing”:

At the time, London had an initiative called Books about Town and we were able to see (and sit in) the bench inspired by the Greenshore Folly.

You have the Agatha Christie Memorial too.

In a not so directed related place, there’s the Seven Dials,

And if you think David Suchet is the only possible Poirot, then you’ll want to pass by Whitehaven Mansions, err… sorry, Florian Court 🙂

And then, you have Paddington Station, the University College Hospital, where Christie worked during both world wars and the source for her knowledge of medicines and poisons, the house in Campden Street where Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express, the British Museum, Charing Cross, the Savoy Hotel, Soho, Scotland Yard, the Army and Navy Stores, now House of Fraser, Hyde Park and so many other places familiar to Christie’s readers.

Google eBooks App showing a map when clicking in a city’s name.

In today’s mobile world and being Agatha Christie one of the best selling authors, you’d expect a mobile app to tell you all about the places related to Christie’s works, but the fact is you only find games and books.

I suppose the fact Christie’s works are still copyrighted makes it too difficult or too expensive for others to come up with innovative ideas to reuse her works.

I’m not sure how good it is the technology that finds a place from a written text, but Google uses it in their ebooks app. I suppose that, with tools to dig in big data and using the works of scholars like Franco Moretti, one could expect a mobile app that would use notifications to give you an excerpt of a given book if you passed by a place mentioned in the book, as an example.

This could be done with public domain books and, I imagine, that for publishers with a 21st century mindset it could be a good way to sell more books also.




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