Geofencing and Auto-Play

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With the release of our new tour builder we have unlocked a couple of features that have been lurking in the background for a couple of months. When combined they offer a powerful new way for your users to experience tours. The two new features are get-fencing and auto-play.

Geo-fencing

Geo-fencing has been available on iOS for a while and has now launched on Android. As the user approaches a tour stop, an alert is sent to your device as the geo-fence is activated. This location based alert lets the user know what stop they have reached and tapping on it will take them directly to the stop info. Even better, with the new tour builder you can determine the radius of your geo-fence! Be it 100 meters, for walking tours, or 1000 meters, for driving tours. The choice is yours.

To customise the geo-fences simply tap on the stop pin in the map edit screen. You will be able to set the latitude and longitude of the geo-fence (if different from the stop) and the radius.

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Audio Plays Automatically

Building on the geo-fence alerts, users can now set any audio content to play automatically. Very handy if you have your hands full with other things whilst on a tour – such as a steering wheel or even the handle bars of a bike. Users can easily turn this feature on and off depending on their preferences and best of all the feature works even when the app is running in the background.

WalkAuck_Auto Play Audio

 

Interested in adding geo-fence alerts to your app? Give us an email at support@mytoursapp.com and we’ll be happy to help. It’s a free upgrade for existing users

Getting your vineyard on the map

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We recently completed a project for Yealands Estate in Marlborough which posed a couple of interesting challlenges that we wanted to share with you. The app had to be available in 6 languages and the existing maps of the area were not that great.

Mapping

Many platforms use Google Maps for their mapping which is OK if you’ve got well mapped areas and you want a more ‘street map’ based look for your app. At My Tours we use maps based on Open Street Map which allows you to add you own data to the map. Consider this Google Map of the area:

 

By editing the Open Street Map version of the map we were able to add a lot more data to the map. We could add everything from buildings to vineyards and picnic tables:

 

And the result in the app? The default rendering of the Open Street Map using Mapbox is looking pretty good:

There are a few more things we can do given time and budget. For example we could create a completely unique style to match any corporate branding or we could import any special layers and style these in a particular way to highlight certain features. Get in touch if you would like any custom map work done on your app.

Translations

The app also needed to be available in six languages and be released in under 3 weeks. We were supplied the content in English and used our translators to turn around the translations in under a week. The result? An app released on time, in six languages.

You can see the results on iOS and Android.

 

Your Tours: Hobsonville Point Secondary School

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We recently published an app for Hobsonville Point Secondary School. It explores the school’s surrounding area, in particular the rich aircraft history of New Zealand’s first international airport. That’s not even the best part, though — the app was created by the school’s year 9 and 10 students. The other great thing is that the app’s proceeds go to charitable organisation KidsCan.

We had a chat to the innovative Sarah Wakeford from the school, and asked about the experience and thinking behind making the app.

What gave you the idea of making a tour app?

Glen from My Tours approached the school showing us the potential for student led learning using the app. We are always interested in authentic real world learning opportunities and I saw straight away that it could be a fantastic project for our students.

What was the thinking behind it?

My initial thoughts were really focussed on the area we live in and the important history that is found here. We are on an old airbase site, with lots of history around aircraft (this was NZ’s first international airport). As the community grows and develops, this history is being lost. I see it as our schools responsibilty to try and protect as much of the history as possible. My Tours App seemed like a fantastic tool to help us do this.

Why My Tours?

My Tours seemed very straightforward and manageable for students in Yr 9 and 10 to create. The software was easy for our kids to use, had lots of versatility and looked very professional – so our kids could do an amazing job. Glen was happy to help in all stages of the production, which put me at ease. He was always working with the kids and helping them to improve what they were doing.

It was an awesome idea to involve the students in creating the app — was organising all the different parts challenging?

Setting up the ‘accounts’ for Google and Apple was a little challenging at first – just finding the time to meet with the finance and IT expertise to set up all the accounts was a bit tricky. The actual creation of the trail was very smooth, and Kim Mi the project leader found putting the trail together very straightforward, once all the passwords and accounts were set up.

How did they find the tour content?

The students decided to keep the first project very small and managable – so they decided on 5 key sites in the Hobsonville Point area – knowing that it was better to research these sites well and do a good job, rather than spread themselves too thin. However, on reflection they could have done 10 sites, as they found the process really straightforward and there was definitely time to do more. The idea is to build on this site and increase the trail in 2016.

Did they enjoy it?

Absolutely – here are some quotes from the student reflections:

*I really liked learning about the history and then being able to do something about it. We could share the information with the community and also help raise money for KidsCan, so that felt really good. I also liked working as a team and seeing a final product at the end. The project was cool. – Kim Mi

*I really enjoyed the design stuff we did for the app – it was cool to make logos and find images and photos, choose colours and create the app – it felt like you were doing a real design project as well as a history project. – Matthew

What about production — who took all of the photos and recorded the audio?

The students collected the photos from the on-line archive sites and also took photos themselves at the different spots. Students also did all the recording themselves at our recording studio at school.

How long did it take?

Student worked on the history trail for approx 10 weeks – every Wed from 12.00 – 3.00pm. They also did promotional material, a website and other resources to promote the app and the history of Hobsonville Point.

Who had the idea to sell the app and donate the proceeds to KidsCan?

The project is part of a learning programme here at HPSS called “Big Projects” and the idea as all the projects have to contribute to a ‘big picture’ partnership or challenge, which for semester one in 2015 was raising money for KidsCan. Over 120 students were involved in enterprise projects that had to raise funds for kids living in poverty. It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to use the app to also do a positive thing for kids in need – so that was a great connection to the overall Big Project challenge.

In 2016 there will be a range of history projects and we hope to improve on the trail and add new ones 🙂

Header Image: Aeroplane assembly, Hobsonville RNZAF base, with plane in cratee. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-21516-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23011349