I posted this as a comment on the original post about “we want your ideas”, but that sort of got buried, so I’ll repost and add to it:

“Hand-held computing and historical walking tours/podcasts: How can we provide a platform independent multimedia experience that can be easily adopted by historic sites and towns?”

I would like to exchange ideas and experiences people have had creating mobile apps (iPhone, Android, or a more generic WebApp) for creating walking tours. When I have students work on walking tours right now, we tend to simply create downloadable podcasts and use the cover art function to display photos or maps. This works relatively well, but I have been wondering if there was a way to make this more dynamic. I’d also like find a way that this approach could be adopted at a low cost for museums to use within an exhibition.

Some background: Last May I was in Erfurt Germany and visited the new Jewish museum, which had an excellent walking tour of the exhibit that used iPod Touches in the place of an audio wand. The problem for me, however, was that it was clearly a “hacked” iPod app – or some sort of magic that I am unaware of that does not allow you to ever access the home screen. The app was “locked” in a sense. I looked up the company that designed the app and it is an entirely proprietary product that they create for museums. As such, it would be a large financial investment for smaller museums and historical societies that would like to offer such tours.

I know that there are others interested in mobile apps (or off-the-desktop-computing as the current turn of phrase is) and wouldn’t mind combining my interests here with others who are also interested in all things mobile.