(Updated with new discount on Friday morning.)
Rick Gordon sent a link to an interesting photo book the other day: it's a collection of photographs of San Francisco, set in fixed layout format as if it were a coffee table book. The photographs are lovely but I have to admit the whole thing just made me want to create my own. I have thousands of pictures of Barcelona and there is so much that I'd love to share about this place. I was totally inspired. Here's what I came up with:
The hardest part of the project, of course, was choosing the photographs. I decided to focus this first collection on architectural details of lesser known buildings. Tourists and Barcelonians alike are more than familiar with Antoni Gaudí and his Sagrada Família and Dragon House, so I decided to avoid his admitted gorgeous buildings altogether in order to highlight something new. I chose 50 landscape oriented photos to keep my layout simple and straightforward.
Since iBooks already reacts to a user's clicks by showing and hiding the navigation system across the bottom and top, the user has to press a little longer than necessary to get the caption to show. In addition, the user has to avoid turning the page by clicking too close to the left margin. Finally, I decided to display the caption at the bottom of the page, but not too close so that it wouldn't be obscured by the navigation system.
The more I thought about the caption, the more I wanted to add location information so that if a reader wanted to visit one of these special buildings, they could find just where they were, and even chart a course. Since the book works fine on iPhone, readers could take a tour while they were walking about Barcelona. I learned how to create links to Google Maps using decimal coordinates for the buildings in question, and then I added a Maps icon with a link and made it appear along with the caption. When a reader clicks the Maps icon, they can choose to leave iBooks and view the location of the building in the Maps app. They can click the left Street View button to view the building right in the context of its own street, or click the Directions buttons to see how to get there from where they are that minute. It's pretty fun to play with. The only downside is that there is no quick way to return to iBooks once the reader is done looking at the map, short of clicking out of Maps and then clicking into iBooks again.
You'll note that Barcelona Beyond Gaudí costs $1.99 on the Apple iBookstore, but $2.99 on my own site. That's because my shopping cart (Kagi) won't let me make the price any lower. So, if you buy it directly from me, I'll include a coupon for $1 off any EPUB related title that I sell to make up the difference.