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OpenBuildings

Architectural Building Resource Community


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Published 05/22/2011 and rated Ratingstars4 4 out of 5 stars
by AppAppeal Editor
What can you use the app for?

OpenBuildings is a website that houses a unique collection of information and images of buildings from all over the world. The site includes government buildings, residential dwellings, health related facilities and religious structures. Users can also look for buildings by age, starting as recent as 2010 and going as far back as 3,000 B.C. Each building profile contains a wealth of information, including location, name, construction status, Google Maps, type of project, architect, photos, bio of the building, related news stories and any files related to the building. Users can also search for specific buildings using the website find tool bar. Building collections are also featured on the homepage along with active users. OpenBuildings currently supports an iPhone app version and maintains a Facebook page.

OpenBuildings screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

OpenBuildings is a directory of buildings that are located all over the world. The information is submitted primarily by the website’s community. This allows users to become active members and share important information on architecture of the past and present. OpenBuildings was founded in 2010 by Lachezar Tsachev, Adel Zakout and Tom Mallory. Zakout is the current CEO, Mallory is the COO and John Malloy is on the company’s Board of Directors.

What are the differences to other apps?

OpenBuildings is truly one of the more unique websites out there. Although there are general resources like Wikipedia that maintain a great deal of information on famous structures, OpenBuildings seems to take it to the next level. Users can learn a great deal about buildings, from ancient remnants to high tech modern constructions.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

OpenBuildings welcomes user with color images of the buildings it lists right on the homepage. A larger banner presents the day’s featured building while a collection of additional buildings is found just below in thumbnail images. Links to building collections can also be found as well as top users, OpenBuildings user comments and Facebook followers. Each building profile is very well-organized, with five tabs in the upper, left hand corner to help the user sort through the information. Maps and an overview of the building data can be found along the right side of each profile page. The user can also find Facebook and Twitter sharing tools in the upper, right hand corner of each building profile page.

How does the registration process work?

A new user can join the OpenBuildings community by clicking the orange “Register” button in the upper, right hand corner of the website. The registration form is presented at the center of the following page. At the top, a blue and white “Connect with Facebook” button is available for those who prefer to log in using their social network profile. Otherwise the user can fill in their first and last name, email address and a password. A small note at the bottom of the form advises the user that by submitting their details they are automatically agreeing to the OpenBuildings terms and conditions.

What does it cost to use the application?

OpenBuildings offers users access to its directory for free. There are no subscription fees or other charges for creating an account. Users can also submit new buildings or information on existing building profiles. This is definitely a good choice because the site is mostly user-driven.

Who would you recommend the application to?

OpenBuildings is a great resource for anyone with an interest in architecture. The website contains a wealth of information and encourages its users to share what they know about the buildings featured in the site’s directory.

  • Search for specific buildings
  • Browse collections and categories of buildings
  • Register and log in through Facebook
  • Add images, files and information to building profiles
  • Share building profiles through Twitter and Facebook


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