The free iOS app Moveable and its complementary web tool by Moveable Feast (currently invite-only) allow anyone to create and share “multimedia narratives.” These can be walking tours of a historic area in your community, for example, including text, images, and videos all connected to GPS coordinates and a “virtual trail” people can follow using their iPhone. This five minute video provides an overview.
This effort to empower people to create place-based digital stories reminds me of the Murmur Project in Canada. Murmur is (or was, I’m not sure if it’s ongoing) an “archival audio project” which provided people opportunities to dial phone numbers and hear stories about places in a local community which had been recorded to a phone-based recording system. OnCellSystems and Guide By Cell are two companies providing commercial solutions for mobile walking tours. The August 2008 podcast, “A Conversation about the Cell Phone Audio Tour at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum,” provides more information about how an OnCellSystems solution is in use by the U.S. National Park Service in Oklahoma.
I learned about the Murmur project in 2006 when I first heard Joe Lambert share a presentation about digital storytelling at the SITE conference in Orlando. (An audio podcast of a conversation with Joe from that conference is still available.) Joe is the co-founder of The Center of Digital Storytelling based in Berkeley, California. Follow them on Twitter @storycenter. I co-presented with Joe in Hangzhou, China, in 2009, and an audio podcast recording of that session is also available.
Asking students to research local spots of interest, gather multimedia artifacts about those locations and then create a free walking tour available to the community is a GREAT project for student Storychaser clubs to take on.