In New York City, the memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks isn't even a year old, but already 2 million people have visited. Technology helps many of them navigate around.
Flower by the North Memorial Pool
NEW YORK--On September 11, 2011, the 9/11 Memorial opened here, and already more than 2 million people have visited. There, guests take in somber remembrances of the 2,983 people who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The memorial is in the most somber place possible: in and around the former location of the World Trade Center towers that came crumbling down. The most striking elements are the two memorial pools, located in the actual footprints of the original North and South World Trade Center towers.
As visitors walk around the site, they can use two mobile apps to help orient themselves, find the names of specific 9/11 victims, hear stories about victims, and much more.
In this picture, a flower has been placed alongside the North Memorial Pool.
The 9/11 Memorial has created two mobile apps to help visitors navigate the site and find what they're looking for. Among the things that the apps can do is locate the names of specific 9/11 victims (since the names are not listed alphabetically). The app can also show a small profile of any victim.
Here, we see the app showing the profile for Guy Barzvi alongside his name on the Memorial itself.
Anyone can explore the list of 9/11 victims' names on the Web by visiting names.911memorial.org. If they find the name of someone they want to learn more about -- or want to visit at the memorial itself -- they can print out the person's profile, which lists the exact location of their name. The user can also have that person's profile sent to them by email or text message.
One of the reasons that the list of victims' names on the Memorial isn't alphabetical is that many names are grouped together. For example, all the first responders are listed together, as are employees of firms that were located in the World Trade Center like Cantor Fitzgerald. In addition, some names are placed adjacent to each other, usually at the request of family members, friends, or colleagues.
Here, we see that Guy Barzvi's name is located adjacent to that of Gregory E. Rodriguez and Marina Romanova Gertsberg. Visitors are not able to see the reason for the request to place the names adjacent to each other.
When finished, the new 1 World Trade Center tower will be the tallest building in the United States. Counting its antenna, it will be 1,776 feet tall, a number that, of course, symbolizes freedom and independence to Americans.
Another 9/11 Memorial app -- available for iPhone only -- is the Explore 9/11 app. Among other things, this app has an augmented reality feature that allows users to see archival photos related to the 9/11 attacks that have been geotagged in a location next to where they're using the app. Here, in an image created on April 18, 2012, the app has superimposed an image of the aftermath of the World Trade Center towers' collapse on a live view of the new 1 World Trade Center tower.
The Explore 9/11 app also allows users to listen to stories related to certain victims of the attacks. This map shows where the victims' names are located, and shows that a story for the Vigiano brothers has been selected.
For those visitors who don't bring a smartphone -- or have the 9/11 Memorial Guide app, there are 10 kiosks located within the memorial site. There, visitors can search for the names of victims and get short profiles of them.
Although the 9/11 Memorial is open to everyone and is free, but all visitors must have obtained a pass in advance. There are several ways to do that, but the easiest is to register on 911Memorial.org and print out your own ticket.
A look into the hauntingly beautiful North Memorial Pool. The two memorial pools were erected on the exact footprints of the twin towers, and each contains 30-foot manmade waterfalls -- the largest in North America -- and a center void which descends 15 feet further below.
Although the 9/11 Memorial is already open, the official 9/11 Museum is still being worked on and is expected to open within a year or so. This is a rendering of a room in which victims will be memorialized on the walls, one at a time.
Through all the destruction at the World Trade Center site after 9/11, one stairway -- known as the Vesey stairs -- was left intact and recovered. It has been installed in the 9/11 Museum, and this rendering shows what it will look like inside the museum once it is open to the public.