Nov 9 2010
Tour guides can add a whole new perspective on one’s adventures. They’re knowledgeable about where things are and can give you the history on points of interest. The next best thing to tour guides are self guided tours. These will guide you around an area so you can explore at your own pace. With a small audio player people can learn more about historic sites, museums, or even an entire section of town.
Self guided tours are now being taken to the next level. Rather than relying on custom built tours, there’s a cell phone app that will give you information about historic points as you get closer to them. GeoReader’s Droid app is a worldwide tour guide for all who wish to explore.
GeoReader (found at MyGeoReader.com), is an intriguing yet simple application. All you do is download the free app, turn it on, and start driving around. As you approach locations that have comments made about them GeoReader will read back the information to you. So let’s say you’re driving across the Golden Gate bridge. As you do so the GeoReader app will recite a few interesting facts about the bridge, its history, and purpose.
The way GeoReader works is by creating Talking Points. These consist of a title, commentary, an image, and tags. The commentary is what’s read back to users when they approach the location. Tags are categories to help people find it when searching the system. The way the commentary works is with a text to voice system. It makes for slightly robotic readings, but informational nonetheless.
There are three ways to use GeoReader. The most basic is as described above, as a user driving, biking, or walking around. The next is as a contributor. Let’s say you come across a famous landmark that has yet to be entered into GeoReader’s system. You can enter the details either via your mobile phone or the online interface. When you use the phone it makes it easy to take a picture along with entering the other information. When adding talking points via the web you have to upload a picture and indicate where it is on the map. Talking Points can be private, shared with just friends of yours, or open to the general public.
The last way to use GeoReader is as an advertiser. Let’s say you own a historic Italian restaurant in North Beach, San Francisco. You can add your location as a Talking Point so that all users will learn about it when they’re in the vicinity. What better form of advertising that to contact people when potential customers are right around the corner.
GeoReader offers a few settings to customize your trip. It allows you to increase or decrease the range of Talking Points that will be picked up by their system. Thismight be adjusted when using different modes of modes of transportation. If you’re walking you may make it a shorter distance so they won’t begin until you’re fairly close. GeoReader also keeps a record of all the Talking Points you’ve already listened to. It only reads each point once, but you have the option to reset them so you can start again.
When using GeoReader it’s recommended to have a plug-in charger so it won’t drain the battery. It’s also recommended to connect the phone to the car audio system. Thus you can drive around hands free and get the full experience of the GeoReader tour.
GeoReader is a new way to explore. It’s a free service that anybody can enjoy and contribute to. Anytime people go to a new town or part of the world, GeoReader can be a fun tool to learn and share about the local sites.