We believe that people connect better with places when they have information that’s interesting and relevant to them, and we help organizations engage broader audiences with interpretive content delivered on smart phones.
Given ALL the needs and ALL the options, how do you prioritize with limited resources? Wellwe’reassuming that it’s important to engage and increase visitors. One path for this is through interpretation with signage and docents.
Signs are great and can look amazing, but there’s only so much you can put on them. And since they have to appeal to such a wide audience, just getting consensus on the language can take months; then they’re only visible to those who are in their vicinity.
Then there’s the expense to design, manufacture,install and then maintain them. After all of that, they don’t do much to engage repeat visitors since they are static, and some visitors express themselves on them in inappropriate ways.
I’ve had the good fortune of being on quite a few docent led hikes over the past few years; they’re always a great experience and I’m amazed what I learn. But I end up feeling like part of a privilegedfew and wish more people could and would take advantage of them.
There’s no shortage of information out there, but from personal experience it can be overwhelming and even intimidating. I’m not an expert but I want to spend time outdoors with my kids, and least seem like I know what I’m doing. It’s not easy figuring out where to start.
If I were to guess, I’d say that many of you here got connected with the outdoors and conservation because of some great experience with family or perhaps a teacher or organization. What if you could recreate that for others through the lenses they care about?
What if you could get the word out about the great work you do and the amazing resources that are available while informingin ways that make people go “wow, that was great”;in ways that are tailored to their various interests.
What if you could collect useful data about visitors on your properties including where they go and what they’re interested in; get comments and feedback, engage them more deeply, and even tap into their social networks.
We think that expanding interpretation in this new way is a path to increase awareness and interest, connect with new audiences, and as a result increase visitors, membership, volunteers, donations, funding and the bottom line.
So HOW does this work? Visitors use an app they downloadon their smartphones. It’s one app regardless of where they are that let’s them browse, select and take the tours around them. And they get notified by GPS as they stroll along their selected tour.
Content consists of short stories associated with specific locations and are strung together into tours. Each story can be a combination of text, audio, images and video. And they’re as easy to create as using as a blogging tool.
As I’ve mentioned there’s no shortage of content. It can be from information you already have or it’s an opportunity to create great new partnerships. The goal is to crowdsource hyper-local content from those who know it best.
With smartphones we can create immersive, place-based experiences; though it takes repurposing and filtering of existing content to take full advantage of what is possible. You can also personalize the experiences like never before.
And here’s WHATyou get. The flexibility to deliver different kinds of experiences on topics ranging from history to ecology, from birding to geology, layered on top of each other to engage visitors with no impact to the landscape.
Given all that’s possible, you can then focus on ideas for creating great experiences instead of developing and maintaining applications. It’s an easier alternative to building your own app while having complete control over your content.
We’re using proven technology in a new way. The trend to mobile over the past 5 years or so is pretty clear. Just look at music, news even TV and movies; it’s especially important if you want to engage the next generation.
We’re working with Muir Heritage Land Trust at their Fernandez Ranch property where they’ve leveraged existing relationships like the National Parks Service and the Ridge Trail; and developed new ones like Oakland Museum and VA hospital in Martinez.
We continue to notice a network effectwith the Bay Trail whose pending Explore the Coast grant hasbeen recommended for approval by the Coastal Conservancy. We’ll be working with several site managers around bay including those seen here.
There’s no limit to what we can do so it’s been important to work closely with organizations as we developfeatures that are the most useful, relevant and enhance the visitor experience. We are very interested in feedback and comments, and working with organizations who share our vision.
Maps and Apps - Canogle
Where’s your story?
Engaging, Curated, Mobile Visitor Experiences