DORSET’S links to its most famous literary son Thomas Hardy have entered the world of iPhone apps.

Andy Pulman, of Bournemouth University’s school of health and social care, has created the Thomas Hardy Trail app to guide phone users around his beloved landscapes.

The 44-year-old said as part of his Phd he is studying how technology can help people with chronic health conditions like diabetes and he wanted to create a couple of his own mobile phone apps to test before he made one to aid healthcare.

He said: “Hopefully in the long term I will be able to create something that will be of benefit in the health area but I thought the best way was to create a couple of other apps from scratch first.”

Poole resident Andy created his first app, a guide to using social media called Social Media Friend, in March and says his schoolday experiences inspired him to make Hardy country the feature of his second.

He said: “I had to study Thomas Hardy in sixth form, we did Jude the Obscure and Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

“I was born and bred in Dorset and it just seemed a good mix of being able to apply literature with mobile phone technology.”

The Hardy Trail app takes iPhone users round either an inner trail, featuring sites such as the writer’s birth place at Higher Bockhampton and Dorchester landmarks that feature in his works, or an outer trail looking at the wider Hardy country from Salisbury to Weymouth.

It features pages of information, text and photos on sites that feature in his work that can be linked to a GPS map.

Andy said the app can be used by people when they are at the locations or when planning a trip to Dorset to explore Hardy’s landscape.

He said: “It doesn’t matter whether they are in London or wherever they can actually plan an itinerary for Dorset.”

Andy said he could see further potential for additions to the app such as videos and was interested to hear from anybody who was interested in developing it.

He said that Dorset should be embracing new technology as a way of promoting what it has to offer.

Andy said: “When you are looking at 2012 coming up we could be producing lots of mobile phone apps saying here are some of the interesting places you might want to visit in Dorset.

“The world is your market really.”

Andy’s app has gone live on the iTunes store and is available from