From Holland with Love, day 8: Hi tech touring

The route - linked to gps - on the phone

The route – linked to gps – on the phone

After an arts dinner in Beaudesert, addressing possible new tourism routes in the Scenic Rim, I wondered whether it really had to be signs in the landscape with texts or square bar codes to inform the visitors about the specific local features. Signs are vulnerable to weather and vandals, cannot be adjusted to changes in information and are often intrusive. Why not a digital route? A tailor made tour for walking, riding or driving showing you where to go on your mobile phone (GPS) and informing you about features in the landscape?
I found one project in Australia, luckily at the Gold Coast, but it failed in every aspect.
My sister learning about the Dom Tower in Utrecht

My sister learning about the Dom Tower in Utrecht

On the internet I searched for similar projects world wide and I ended up in Holland: www.beleefroutes.nl (in English: http://www.hollandhighlights.com/). Now I’m here I took my chance to check it out. Guess what: it’s perfect.
The user installs an app on a gps device (mobile phone or mobile tablet) for free, you download the route you like to do (we did a canal-walk through the old city of Utrecht) when you have WiFi and then you hit the road. Switch on the GPS and the phone/tablet guides you with a map through the town, and bleeps every time something interested is encountered: a bit if written info, a picture and video.
I never realised this Town castle in Utrecht before.... the earl fought for decades with the earl opposite the canal about ..... a woman (what has changed???)

I never realised this Town castle in Utrecht before…. the earl fought for decades with the earl opposite the canal about ….. a woman (what has changed???)

My sister has lived most of her life here, but learned lots of novelties about her old Town! And about her new Tech!
And it is all dummy proof. Implementing and using it was piece of cake, even for two dummies like my sister and me! It was great fun and very educational.
It’s suitable for a long car-tour of 100 kms, but also for a park walk of 2 kms to identify trees. It’s fantastic.
Council, Chamber, Tourism-bodies…. think about this: the Scenic Rim could lead the country.
I’ve checked with the developers and the application is available in English and can be used world wide. A range of business models comes with different price tags and commercial options. I think it’s worth investigating, especially with the Commonwealth games coming up and the ease to deliver the information in many languages. Also think of the tree-projects…..


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