Story Telling in Space and Time: A Ubiquitous Mobile Application
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Walking around a city in a group with a human tour guide has long been the primary way of learning about a city. However, advances in the Global Positioning System have enabled walking tour mobile apps to be increasingly seen as a viable alternative (Festa, 2016, Sui and Goodchild, 2011). Within the realm of Location-Based Services (LBS), several examples of walking tour mobile apps already exist (Lu and Arikawa, 2013), but their applicability is still limited as they are typically focused on a specific technique to help the user find his/her way. This dissertation project instead aims at using multiple techniques to produce a ubiquitous storytelling walking tour app, named Tour Guide. Tour Guide has an intuitive design to provide support to the user in finding his/her way and help the user cope with getting lost, similar to how a traditional human tour guide mentors a group. Using storytelling techniques make listening to the content fun, intuitive design makes the app user-friendly and the app’s ubiquity features make it easier for the user to put her phone away and immerse herself in the surroundings instead of staring at the screen. A proof-of-concept mobile Android app is developed for a ghost tour in the Royal Mile street of Edinburgh, Scotland. Tour Guide is undergone user testing in the field. Results are outstanding and show that the app is successful in attracting the users’ positive opinions. Despite the fact that none of the users had any mobile walking tour experience before, most of them now prefer using mobile app tour rather than a human tour.