VoiceMap crossed a few milestones in 2023: 1,000 tours in March, for instance, then 500,000 app installs and 30,000 tour ratings a few months later. In total, our community of independent travellers and curious locals spent over 100,000 hours doing VoiceMap tours last year, and after all that time out and about, exploring, you had feedback – bug reports, sometimes, but also feature requests and helpful suggestions.
Version 11 of the VoiceMap app, which we’ve dubbed Kyoto, is a response to some of that feedback. It includes:
Continue reading “Hello Kyoto: What’s new in version 11 of the VoiceMap app” »
Join VoiceMap’s second webinar for a conversation with tour operator Jo Eckardt, who started A Friend in Berlin after she moved back to Germany from New York twenty years ago.
Jo taught German at NYU, and also worked for the UN, but Berlin is her favourite city, and while she showed everybody around herself in the early days, her company now has a team of guides offering tours in eleven languages. Jo is also a psychoanalyst, an author and – of course – a VoiceMap publisher.
The first of Jo’s tours was published in 2015. She didn’t publish another one until October 2022, then she published six of them in twelve weeks – and at last count, she was on eleven. Jo was inspired by how much easier it had become, and all the ways in which VoiceMap’s tools and processes had improved over the years. But she was also really clever about using the structure of a tour to her advantage.
Continue reading “Upcoming Webinar: How a Berlin-based tour operator published 6 audio guides in 12 weeks” »
VoiceMap held its first webinar in March. Our Head of Content, Gary Morris, spoke to Frank Bures about how he produced his third VoiceMap tour, In the Footsteps of Prince. Frank has published six VoiceMap tours and is the author of The Geography of Madness, which Newsweek called one of the best travel books of the decade.
Some highlights from the webinar:
(4:35) The beginnings of the Footsteps of Prince tour
(17:30) The working relationship between the publisher and the editor
(19:30) The audio recording process
(23:05) Mapping techniques and considerations
(2:10) Frank on creating his first VoiceMap tour
(27:35) The importance of storytelling when creating a tour
(31:49) Frank’s top advice for new tour publishers
(32:42) A live reading of Frank’s favourite passage from the tour.
Continue reading “Webinar Recording: Following Prince through Minneapolis with Frank Bures” »
VoiceMap is at its best when you’re immersed in new surroundings, with your screen off, because the serendipity of GPS playback can seem like magic. But version 10, codenamed Athens**, is about what you’re doing when your screen is on, especially if you’re looking at your tour’s map.
Improvements in VoiceMap Athens include:
Continue reading “Announcing VoiceMap Athens: What’s new in version 10 of the best* audio tour app” »
Join VoiceMap’s first webinar for a conversation with Frank Bures, the author of four VoiceMap tours as well as The Geography of Madness, which Newsweek called one of the best travel books of the decade.
Continue reading “Upcoming Webinar: Following Prince through Minneapolis with Frank Bures” »
We reached an important milestone last Friday: 1,000 published tours. Friday was also our ninth birthday, coincidentally – but also usefully, because it reminded us that this took some doing.
Our tours now cover some 30,000 locations in well over 300 destinations, and our scripts add up to a fraction under 5.5 million words. If you started listening to all of our audio now, beginning with a Chao Phraya ferry ride published in June 2014, you’d still be listening halfway through March, more than 600 hours later.
Continue reading “1,000 VoiceMap tours – and other rewards for craft, consistency and putting things in context” »
VoiceMap reached a few milestones this month: we published our 800th tour, then we extended our reach to 60 countries with our first walk in Belgium, and yesterday we reached a total of 10,000 ratings across all the tours on the platform.
It took us a full 39 months to get to 2,000 ratings, and 20 more to get to 4,000. Reaching 6,000 took another year, and we reached 8,000 nine months after that, over a period that included the lockdowns of April, May and June last year. The final increment, bringing us to 10,000, took just four months. That’s basically ten times faster than the slow climb to our first 2,000 ratings.
Continue reading “10,000 tour ratings and other recent milestones” »
This Friday is the 170th birthday of Robert Louis Stevenson. In Edinburgh, the anniversary has been celebrated with events throughout the city since 2011, but with level three restrictions in place, RLS Day 2020 has chosen to commemorate the legendary Scottish author online. This includes a crisscrossing of the globe with readings from his work by 19 people in 15 locations, starting with his childhood in Edinburgh, as well as two newly released audio tours. The tours can be used virtually, at home, or on a self-guided, socially distanced walk in the footsteps of the young Stevenson, before he left the city of his birth at the age of 27, never to return.
Continue reading “Celebrate Robert Louis Stevenson Day with self-guided and virtual tours of Edinburgh” »
It has been a challenging year for South Africans and we all deserve a little downtime this Heritage Day. The good news is that, while we look forward to welcoming back international guests when borders open in October, Capetonians won’t need to compete with crowds of tourists to enjoy their favourite local attractions this year. And for those still cautious of venturing out under the cloud of COVID-19, VoiceMap’s Heritage Day promotion means that they can enjoy a free tour of one of the Mother City’s top attractions, in a fun, safe and socially distanced way.
Continue reading “This Heritage Day, enjoy a free, fun and socially distanced tour of Cape Town” »
There is so much in a single human voice. This simple fact jumps out at me with every new VoiceMap we publish, in each of the 46 countries where you can now plug in headphones, hit start, and explore.
Take, for example, some of our free audio tours, sponsored by tourism boards, attractions, community organisations, and others – along with one exception, which is also free, but was published privately by design.
The private audio tour was disguised as something public – an ordinary tour, for anyone – but it was actually made for a single, unsuspecting listener, and when a new voice cut in unexpectedly halfway through it, she recognised the voice instantly. It directed her through a magnificent garden to a bench, where the voice was joined by its owner, asking if the listener would, perhaps, be his wife. Continue reading “Newsletter, March 2018: A marriage proposal via VoiceMap, free tours about (re)making two legendary ports, Boston’s Medal of Honor recipients, and more” »
VoiceMap is working on a set of new features for hotels, guest house owners, Airbnb hosts, and anybody else who has paying guests. We want to make it quick and easy to create a short, immersive audio tour that allows you to show your guests around the neighbourhood without actually being there.
Spier Wine Farm and Once in Cape Town have already created similar tours, but we’re working out how to simplify and speed up this process, to make it more accessible for small businesses. Our team in Cape Town is piloting the project, and because VoiceMap is perfect for Airbnb’s plugged-in, international guests, we’re looking for two Airbnb hosts in the City Bowl or the Atlantic Seaboard. If you have a listing in either place, please get in touch. You’ll find our contact details below.
You’ll need to come into our Woodstock office for a chat, where we’ll help you map out a route that takes in some interesting sights, shops, bars, and other things your neighbourhood has to offer. Then you’ll need to work with us to create and record a script. You’ll be left with an immersive GPS tour which your guests can download. None of this will cost you anything.
If you’re interested, please send an email to [email protected], and we’ll send along more details.
Position: Junior Editor
Starting Date: Immediately
Salary: R8000 – R16000 per month negotiable basic salary
VoiceMap is a Woodstock-based startup that combines storytelling and technology to produce remarkable audio tours. Our platform brings together an innovative CMS and easy to use mobile apps, establishing a platform and marketplace for this fast-growing medium. Tech is central to what we do, but we believe in putting the story first. And while the most obvious application for VoiceMap is walking tours, we also publish fictional audio dramas and site-specific soundscapes. We like to experiment. Continue reading “We’re Hiring: Audio Tour Script Editor” »
We are looking for a digital marketing lead to grow our user base and increase conversions. Experience driving mobile app installs using a variety of organic and paid channels is especially important. You’ll need to have run extremely cost efficient search, retargeting and social campaigns in the past, and possess a strong track record in ASO and SEO, along with email, content and affiliate marketing. This is a position for an enthusiastic growth hacker who can help us to understand and segment our users better. Advanced Google Analytics and Excel skills are a must, as is experience with surveys and A/B testing. Continue reading “We’re Hiring: Growth Marketing Manager” »
Position: Junior Sound Designer
Starting Date: Immediately
Salary: Market related
VoiceMap is a Cape Town-based startup that combines storytelling and technology to produce remarkable, immersive audio tours. Our platform brings together an online publishing tool and easy to use mobile apps, establishing a marketplace for this new, fast-growing medium. While the most obvious application for VoiceMap is walking tours, we also publish fictional audio dramas that unfold over the course of a short walk and site-specific soundscapes. We like to experiment. Continue reading “We’re Hiring: Junior Dialogue Editor” »
Did you really enjoy a few particular VoiceMap experiences that you think your friends or community would appreciate too? Our latest feature, VoiceMap Route Bundles, gives you a way of grouping three or more audio tours together so that friends can purchase them at a 15% discount.
Continue reading “Create your own bundle of audio tours” »
Position: Business Development Manager
Starting Date: Immediately
Salary: Basic plus commission, negotiable
VoiceMap is a publishing platform and marketplace for immersive audio tours. Our iPhone and Android apps make the medium simple by using GPS to synchronise playback, making sure that you hear about the Merlion when you’re looking at the Merlion. Our publishing tool and team of editors open up fresh opportunities for storytellers and tourist attractions across the world.
About the Role
VoiceMap is currently looking for a business development manager in Singapore. This is a sales-focused role, centred on establishing partnerships with popular tourist attractions as well as organisations involved in tourism in Singapore and across Southeast Asia. But we are also looking for someone who can help us to grow a healthy, well balanced marketplace that serves these partners, our end users, and our community of storytellers equally well.
Continue reading “We’re Hiring: Business Development Manager, Singapore” »