Sunday, 19 June 2016

Do it yourself walking tours; how to do it

Walking tours are simple; someone talks while they walk right?
Yes, most of the time this is the way its done, but can it be done any differently?

People have roamed around cities with guidebooks for over a 100 years, from a railway tourist using Bradshaws, to an early 20th century motorist using a Baedecker or Michellin guide, locally Jarrolds have printed Norwich guidebooks for decades. Only recently have travellers relied on digital content from the ubiquitous Tripadvisor with user generated reviews and locally produced smart phone apps such as Visit Norwich http://www.visitnorwich.co.uk/get-to-know/discover-norwich-app/ that include walking 'City Trails' and interactive content where you can 'check in' and unlock points to demonstrate you have completed it and gain incentives such as a free pint enroute.  

 the question in my mind, that I havent been able to answer yet is; 
Q: could we generate a self guided walking tour?
Q: could this have audio and visual content?
Q: could the content be tailored to personal taste? 
Q: can this be done without any cost?

Perhaps someone reading this blog might be able to help answer these questions. 
I think it would enable valuable research to be made much more publicly available, and potentially be a resource that can be added to and edited over time by various contributors. It would be innovative and help to ensure that the perception of history being dusty and fusty  is blown away by a contemporary medium. Perhaps the age of the expert author is being challenged by user generated content, this can be seen by websites such as History Pin that have geographically indexed photograpshs that can be grouped as a tour; http://www.historypin.org/en/ . There are several examples in Norfolk showing what can easily be done. 

I hope this is interest to the Magdalen Walks group
Kieran Yates
June 2016

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