Armchair audio tours

It can feel a little bit like magic when VoiceMap tours point out a revealing detail at exactly the right moment, to show you something you’d normally walk by without a sideways glance. But it’s actually a spell that has been carefully produced by our editors, who help every single one of our publishers with the ins and outs of automatic GPS playback.

That’s why we’re surprised by our data, which suggests that for a surprising number of VoiceMap’s listeners, automatic playback doesn’t matter at all. In fact, over the last 12 months, about 15% of them have started tours more than 100 kilometres from their starting points. And about a quarter have used the VoiceMap app’s Continuous Play feature, which is designed for listeners who might be at home washing the dishes, or on their way to work – or on an aeroplane at the start of a trip.

How to use VoiceMap like an audio book or podcast

The starting point screen for Annie Sargent's tour Montmartre: More than Meets the Eye.
The starting point screen for Annie Sargent’s tour Montmartre: More than Meets the Eye. Continuous Play is at the bottom right.

There are three ways to play a VoiceMap tour once you’ve downloaded it:

  1. Start Tour, which has a button that activates when you’re close to the starting point
  2. Resume, which starts the tour at the location closest to you, wherever you are
  3. Continuous Play

If you select either Start Tour or Resume, VoiceMap uses automatic GPS playback. After audio at one location ends, you only hear the next location’s audio when you get there – or you skip tracks manually. Continuous Play works differently: GPS playback is disabled, and the tour plays one location after the other, from beginning to end. Continue reading “Armchair audio tours” »

VoiceMap as an interactive learning tool

Earlier this year a primary school teacher from Saint John’s school in Puerto Rico used our platform to create a tour with her Grade 6 class. Gabriella Centeno and her Social Studies students published an audio tour of the historic centre of old San Juan. Using their imagination, the students brought the buildings to life. This enabled the structures to share their own stories, regaling passers-by with their rich history and tumultuous pasts.

Gabriella and her colleague, Pilar Álamo, found us while looking for ways to make learning more interactive. They wanted to be able to link historical content with modern media so as to grab their students’ attention. A location-aware audio tour provided the solution.

Continue reading “VoiceMap as an interactive learning tool” »

Charles Dickens’ great great great granddaughter launches a downloadable GPS audio walk of his London neighbourhood

On 25 September, Charles Dickens’ great great great granddaughter and acclaimed author, Lucinda Hawksley, will launch her own downloadable GPS audio walk of Dickens’ London. Listeners can walk in the beloved author’s footsteps, exploring the neighbourhood where he drew inspiration for his novels, many of which were strongly shaped by his childhood.

The immersive audio experience was created in collaboration with VoiceMap, the international walking tour app that released a theatreland tour by actor Ian McKellen earlier this summer. The Charles Dickens from Furnival’s Inn to Doughty Street audio tour was designed to be done at your own pace at any time of day, but this Sunday, walkers will have an opportunity to meet Ms Hawksley during an open discussion at The Charles Dickens Museum, where the walk finishes. The museum is the only remaining house of Charles Dickens in London, and a 25% discount on admission will be offered after the event.

Continue reading “Charles Dickens’ great great great granddaughter launches a downloadable GPS audio walk of his London neighbourhood” »