GPS-enabled mobile devices vs. Heritage

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A presentation for a lecture at the Emuni Master in Bari, Italy, 2012, based on a short paper presented at the Université de Limoges, October 2008.

Text of GPS-enabled mobile devices vs. Heritage

  • 1. Universit degli Studi di BergamoCentro Studi per il Turismo e lInterpretazione del Territorio (CeSTIT)Dipartimento di Scienze dei linguaggi, della comunicazionee degli studi culturaliFacolt di Lingue e Letterature straniereGPS-enabled Mobile Devicesvs. HeritageRoberto PerettaEuromediterranean Master in Culture and TourismICT Quality Management in Tourism CommunicationApril 2011
  • 2. What are we talking about? A warning from the British Cartographic Society Map-making revolutionised Can heritage be delivered through PNDs? PNDs, heritage and tourist destinations Future issues Voice as an interfaceEuromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 2
  • 3. An authoritative warning During the 2008 Conference of the Royal Geographical Society, the President of the British Cartographic Society, Mary Spence, issued a warning: Internet mapping may be wiping out the countrys heritage.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 3
  • 4. Disappear from consciousness! According to Spence, the focus of internet maps on providing driving directions produced by internet giants has meant that the whereabouts of the thousands of churches, ancient woodlands, stately homes and eccentric landmarks which make up the rich tapestry of the British landscape could disappear from public consciousness.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 4
  • 5. Map-making revolutionised Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist at Google, commented: The Internet is revolutionising map making. Were moving towards a future where interactive maps will display precisely the information people want, when they want it. Its adding a whole new dimension, literally, to cartography: now anyone can create their own maps or use their experiences to collaborate with others in charting their local knowledge. In the future, no two maps will be the same, and this is something we should embrace.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 5
  • 6. Personal Navigation Devices Spences reference to driving directions brings us to the reason why internet mapping has become so important both socially and academically speaking. Internet mapping is in fact the main information source for GPS-enabled mobile devices. The diffusion of Personal Navigation Devices (PND) like those offered by TomTom, Garmin or Mio has in fact dramatically increased in recent years.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 6
  • 7. Georeferencing vs. heritage What do GPS-enabled mobile devices ultimately rely on? Who provides georeferencing, i.e. the geographical and topographical foundations for internet mapping? Is that provider or are those providers anyhow likely to care about heritage, e.g. by adding information on heritage to mass- distributed geographical and topographical data?Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 7
  • 8. Navteq and TeleAtlas Today, the GIS data market for internet mapping and GPS-enabled mobile devices is basically a duopoly between Navteq, a company with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, and TeleAtlas, a Netherlands-based company. Whether corporate cartographers from Navteq or TeleAtlas care for heritage is another way of placing the question Spence has raised.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 8
  • 9. Google vs. tradition There well may be a Google-based answer to Spences call. Still a source for GIS-based heritage information, or a bunch of reliable sources like the old-time national mapping agencies and geographic societies, might perhaps continue to exist.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 9
  • 10. A heritage-delivering PND Not surprisingly, this approach was taken as early as in 2005 by one of the oldest and more traditional tourist publishers in the world, Touring Editore, based in Milan as the publishing company of the non-profit mass association Touring Club Italiano, or Touring Club of Italy (TCI). Their idea was to market a PND capable to deliver georeferenced information on heritage as well as driving directions.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 10
  • 11. The Navigatore Touring T-370 The Navigatore Touring T-370 was born around Christmas 2006. It was a really innovative device. Users could - and still can - drive (or walk) around and instantly see which pieces of heritage they are passing by. They can also skim through long lists of pieces of heritage and get directions on how to reach them.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 11
  • 12. Heritage routes and POIs Moreover, the Navigatore Touring allows users to follow heritage routes across Italy suggested by the TCI, read descriptions of both routes and the points of interest (churches, museums, historic buildings, ... as well as hotels, restaurants and the like) listed, and in many instances use pictures of the points of interest themselves.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 12
  • 13. Heritage through voice Whats more, the ability to deliver voice instructions included by most PNDs was stretched by the Navigatore Touring well beyond the common driving directions functionalities. Thanks to a Text-to-Speech (TTS) piece of software, the same heritage content that users can read on the Navigatore Tourings tiny screen can also be listened to, like an outdoor audioguide.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 13
  • 14. PNDs, heritage and people In 2007 the Navigatore Touring was put to use by the author of this presentation in an attempt to introduce what looked like the guest of stone a missing character, a forgotten actor, an unsolved problem in the dialogue among mobile devices, heritage and people, i.e. tourist destinations.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 14
  • 15. A workshop in the Lakes area In 2007 a group of ten students, two lecturers and a senior professor from the University of Bergamo made contact with two local communities in the Lakes region a well- known tourist destination in Northern Italy and had local experts (museum curators, archaeological surveyors, official tourist guides) lead them throughout their own territory interpreting it under a heritage approach.Euromediterranean Master in Culture and Tourism, ICT Quality Management 15
  • 16. Tracking heritage All along such heritage-compliant guided tours, two Navigatore Touring devices were used in order to georeference the visited points of interest a number of which w