China has about 9.6 million square kilometers of territory, which means it is almost as big as the whole size of Europe. But for foreigners, when it comes to traveling in China, you can only think of a limited number of cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Xiamen and Chongqing.
The impression of most foreign tourists on China also comes from these areas where the economy is more prominent or the tourism industry is more developed.
But in fact, for such a large area of land, each area has a completely different style. Especially for tourists walking from one province to another, they may find great differences in natural scenery, architectural style, special diet, artistic style and even language tongue, clothing and living habits.
For the Chinese themselves, this is not a strange thing, so they are keen to travel in different provinces and cities in their own country, and some Chinese have done it to the extreme.
Yang Qitao (Weibo:@KITTEN-YANG), an independent developer of Apple in China, spent a year and a half traveling through all the provinces in China, and made his own travel notes into an interactive Guidebook, about China’s customs and traditions for iPhone, iPad, MacOS and Andorid.
This App is called “华夏万象”. It has an English version, but there is no English name. You can copy these four Chinese characters or click the link above find it in App Store. The Chinese name of the App means “Every phenomenon on China”.
The whole App is divided into two parts, one of which is an encyclopedia and the other is a gallery.
After entering App, you will first see Beijing, which everyone is most familiar with. Click the button in the lower right corner and you will be able to enter a map of China. You can click on the province you are interested in, and then you will enter the part of that province.
For each province, App provides introductions of geographic information, history, culture, world cultural heritage information, cities and food, all of which are in the form of interactive slides, which you can operate by swiping and clicking.
Take Shanghai as an example, it provides a total of 42 slides, first introduces the geographical location and natural environment of Shanghai, and then briefly describes the history of the city of Shanghai.
It talks about the signing of the Nanjing Treaty between the Qing Dynasty and Britain in this city, and then many foreign countries began to set up concessions in the city, which to some extent laid the foundation for Shanghai as an international city.
It also introduces the Wukang Building, built in 1924, which has always been a famous historic building in Shanghai and has become one of the tourist attractions in recent years. The building refers to the French architectural style of the Renaissance and was initially positioned as a high-end apartment.
In the cultural part, it focuses on the cheongsam. Although the cheongsam was the main clothing of aristocratic women in the late Qing Dynasty, the cheongsam in Shanghai learned from Western-style dresses to improve it. And as a cultural symbol, it appears in many novels and TV dramas describing the period when the government of the Republic of China was in Shanghai. This makes it represent an era.
In the food section, it introduces Pan-Fried Bun Stuffed with Pork and Xiaolongbao. For foreigners, they are all steamed buns. But for the Chinese, these are two completely different kinds of steamed buns, with different eating occasions and tastes.
The feature of this App is that it allows people who don’t know much about China to distinguish the characteristics of different regions of China like steamed buns.
In the gallery, the App contains many photos of Chinese landscapes taken by its developers themselves, all from Yang’s trip around China.
In addition to the App itself, the story of the developers of this App is also wonderful.
According to the report, Yang Qitao joined a Chinese Internet company after graduating from university and has a good income. But one question always bothered him: “When I get old, what traces can I leave of what I am doing now?”
In order to find the answer to this question, he left the company to become an independent developer and developed a third-party Weibo client. This Weibo has conquered users through smooth interface, exquisite interaction and experience, bringing him a lot of income.
These incomes made his plan to travel around China a reality.
In a year and a half, Yang traveled through 34 provincial administrative regions in China, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and took more than 100,000 photos. When he got home, he began to think about whether these records could be systematically shared with others to help others better understand China in different regions.
So he wrote the first line of code in Xcode.
According to the interview, it took five months from the first time he decided to make the App to the official launch of the App. In this App, there are a total of 1,930 pages and at least 2,000 images-“It is difficult to choose which photos to use among 100,000 photos.”
Most of the pictures in the App were taken by Yang himself, and some came from CC0 pictures provided by netizens and Google Earth. The text description in App comes from Chinese Wikipedia and some Chinese media about tourism.
In previous reports, Yang talked about plans to include some UGC features in subsequent updates to enable Chinese users to provide photos of their regions.
The App, which was officially launched in August 2020, is available in simplified and traditional Chinese and English. And recently joined Apple’s Project Catalyst, which means that you only need to purchase once can be used on iPhone, iPad and Mac devices.
It is worth mentioning that its price is 0.99 US dollars, and it is also worthwhile to buy it as a book.