Comments on: Mobile WebApp Framework for Walking Tours The Humanities and Technology Camp Mon, 11 Apr 2011 21:22:21 +0000 hourly 1 By: Juliet DeVries Thu, 07 Apr 2011 15:21:40 +0000 Disclosure: I work for TourSphere.

Hi Jon –

Thanks for putting this out there. After hearing the exact same thing over and over from our clients we decided there needed to be an easy solution for the exact challenges you raise. So we built TourSphere.

TourSphere is unique for two reasons:
1. It is affordable (free to sign-up and build your tour – just pay monthly fee when you publish it to the public)
2. It is a very powerful, elegant DIY platform specifically for Museums and Historic sites.

Users can build their own tours Tours and publish them as web apps, iPhone apps or Android apps. Users own and control 100% of their content. We are hoping we help both large and small museums get their stories out there easier.

I would love it if you checked it out and shared your thoughts.

If you have any questions about our product or anything else we’re hearing from our clients please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Juliet DeVries
twitter/ @toursphere
(617)418-7214 x202

By: Larry Cebula Mon, 04 Apr 2011 07:06:43 +0000 I am very interested in this topic as well. I attended the Museums and Mobile virtual conference two weeks ago (very worthwhile!) and came away with a few preliminary thoughts:
1. We don’t need another app for every museum and historic site any more than we need a different ereader for every book or a different software platform for every blog. We need ONE app, free or inexpensive, easy to use, and available across the major mobile platforms. A Blogger for mobile tours.
2. But using an app at all is a devil’s bargain. Users need to have the app on their phones. If they get to the museum or historic site and only then learn about the app (and that is how it is going to happen for most visitors) most won’t download it (even if you provide free wifi) and it doesn’t get used. Mobile web cannot do everything that an app can do but it can do plenty and it works with any mobile platform. Check out this wonderful mobile web exhibit guide from the Nelson Atkins–it looks just like a native app on a phone:
3. A bunch of commercial providers are charging into the mobile space but how many will be around in five years?
4. For God’s sake lets not use mobile to replicate the printed guide. This week I went on a neighborhood walking tour to test pilot a mobile guidebook on the Kindle app. It was pictures and text–an old person’s tour in a young person’s medium. Mobile tours should be interactive, use media, and be fun.
5. Speaking of which, I am thinking of using Scvngr, a “location based social gaming” system, with my students to create historical scavenger hunts.
6. So you create a mobile tour of a historic neighborhood–how does anyone know it is there?
7. Isn’t the most simple solution to create audio cell phone tours? I blogged about one at the Seattle Art Museum, the exhibit is still up and you can call the numbers in the post:

By: mtebeau Sat, 02 Apr 2011 15:45:58 +0000 Jon, would love to talk about this, as Cleveland Historical is the first instance of “Mobile Historical,” just such a tool. We’re working on open-sourcing it and/or creating a very low cost hosted version. Download it and check it out ( Also, I have been creating some Pensacola content, spent about 90 minutes creating several stories, which I will connect via a tour. I did this to demonstrate the broader concept that exists within the infrastructure of Cleveland Historical.

Will look very much to hearing and learning about all the experience you have in this area.