Case Studies

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.


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.


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.

Your Tours: CityExplorer San Francisco & crowdfunding

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Earlier this year we put CityExplorer San Francisco live for Gloria Lenhart. One of the first apps to use the new platform, Gloria also funded her app using Kickstarter. We had the opportunity to catch up with Gloria in San Francisco and take a walk around the Mission Murals walk. We also chatted with her about the experience of making her app.

What made you decide to make a tour app?

As a tour guide in San Francisco, I know a lot about the history of our neighborhoods and what’s happening in them right now. I have fun sharing stories and tips with the travelers and locals on my tours. But with the City Explorer San Francisco app, I can make the tours available to more people. Plus, the app lets people take a private tour when they want to rather than having to meet up with a group.

Why San Francisco?

San Francisco offers so many interesting places to explore. We have historic buildings mixed in with innovative modern architecture. San Francisco is one of the leading cities for street art in the world and we also have a large collection of public art. There’s a lot of history, from the Gold Rush days on the Barbary Coast to the Summer of Love in Haight Asbury to the tech revolution that happening right now. We also have some of the most recognized landmarks in the world. I can provide an insiders view since all of this is right in my backyard.

It was pretty brave to use a Kickstarter campaign to fund your app — when did you realise this was the best way to go?

I used Kickstarter to raise money but also to raise awareness of the project. I was surprised and pleased at the amount of support it got. I exceeded my goal amount, which was great because a portion of the proceeds from the app go to a local non-profit, 826 Valencia, which provides tutoring and writing programs for kids in under-resourced schools throughout city.

What made you choose My Tours?

I was so lucky to find My Tours. I could not have produced the app without them. I’m a tour guide not a tech person, and My Tours gave me an easy, affordable way to leverage their technical expertise to present my information on a variety of platfroms. It’s an affordable way to have a professionally-produced app without the worry of large cost overruns.

How did you find setting up your app — audio, writing, photos etc. Any tips?

It is extremely easy and intuitive to load my information into the My Tours templates and have the app look professional. One tip I have is to not finalize the text until after you record the audio – I always make changes after I’ve heard it.

One big advantage to using My Tours is that you won’t have to worry about getting your app accepted by iTunes or Google Play. I’ve heard other developers complain about delays going back and forth on specs and requirements, but with My Tours the City Explorer San Francisco app was accepted immediately and went up quickly and effortlessly.

What was your favourite part of the process — getting to go on your own tours perhaps?

My favorite part is the look on people’s faces when I tell them that I launched an app! However, if enough tours are downloaded so that I can write a substantial check to support 826 Valencia’s programs for kids, then that will be my favorite part.

What’s next for City Explorer?

There are seven tours on the app now, and I plan to have a dozen tours in all by the end of this year. After that I may develop a few limited-time or seasonal experiences – like Spring in Golden Gate Park. I’d also like to experiment with longer hikes. My Tours is a great platform that supports many different kinds of tours so there are no limits.

Heading to SF soon, or keen to have a play on Gloria’s app? Download it here.

Any further questions for Gloria, or keen for your app to be showcased next? Email us here.