Story Sharing Technologies Along the Byways

Imagine projectable holographic ‘storytellers’ appearing on demand as byway travelers explore the route. How close to reality is that? Maybe a ways off yet, but the stage is being set.

Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway board members, Linda Ulland and Lynn Scharenbroich attended the National Scenic Byways Conference held last month in Baltimore. One of the popular sessions explored technology and how byway visitors interact with and benefit from it.

Podcasts and cell phone walking tours are already being used along urban byways in Maryland and states with similar urban byway routes. Byway users polled said they wanted snippets of information about the place they were standing at that moment; podcasts and cell phone tours filled that need. About 18 months ago, tours became available in multiple languages, were always on and ready to tap into, and boasted high quality audio and video. Interspersed with the technological side of the byway tour were short conversations and/or presentations from real people along the route; DNR experts, local store owners, historical society representatives, etc.

Downloadable walking tours from byway websites, printed maps and tour brochures remain popular today. But, as the population becomes ever more familiar with and comfortable around all kinds of technologies, new avenues continually open for sharing the stories of America’s byways with byway visitors.

The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association welcomes your ideas for ways to share the stories of this local nationally designated byway. Click here to send us your ideas.

News Category: 
Published Date: 
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Published By: 
Inkslinger Spring 2007, and Vistas, March/April 2007 issue