Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Idea time: wikitours. Spoken guides on public transportation.

This idea dates from 2007 when I was strolling around Paris and is very simple: Free, guided tours of cities on your smartphone.

  1. dictate a lot of wikipedia entries on building, statues, parks etc.
  2. mark the entries with gps
  3. map public transportation routes
  4. find corresponding wikipedia entries along the way
  5. get on a bus, open the application, enter the number of the route
  6. sit back, watch out the window and learn about everything you pass by
In 2011 I was reminded of this idea by some apps that were actually developed. Wiki Talking Tours for instance. In 2007 I was thinking about this for a couple of weeks, but the project was simply too big. It's essential parts were non-existent so everything needed to be done from scratch.

It is very promising to see that all these basic parts: the device itself (smartphone), a map interface (Google maps), spoken wikipedia entries (Spoken Wikipedia), transportation routes (Google transit), have all come forward in the last couple of years.

Creative innovation is much cheaper, easier and faster now that this "idea-infrastructure" is in place.