Urban Explore Getting started

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What is Urban Explore?

As a complement to a speaker story (heritage expert, historian, city planner, art professional), the Urban Explore mobile app offers an access to the audio-visual history / memory of a place, in an original and emotional way.

Based on the use of digital resources in mobility, Urban Explore offers a new way of sharing and reading an area or a specific location. Convening in situ testimonies, text documents or audiovisual archives, from Europeana and other sources, the app enables to give a singular vision of the territory: it provides access to a set of selected and editorialized digital cultural content according to the theme of the walk. The user embarks on an exploration: he is guided by the story of a speaker and navigates through the contents over the path, digital tablet in hands. The application is designed as a fully adaptable device according to the place of the visit of the treated themes and the expected objectives in terms of mediation.

The device allows the aggregation of different set of data within a mobile app: Europeana data, open data, user generated contents, cultural institution contents, resources from virtual exhibition… The pilot is planned to be adapted to specific places (city areas, museums) and aims to link video, audio and pictures (as archives material) to a place users are going through.

Urban explore is based on a specific CMS integrating mobile app builder software. This means that you build the content of the tour in the online editor, then publish it to become a mobile app. See 'Publication and installation instructions' for more info.

General functionalities

The online CMS allows building a specific tour app from a varied set of data. The following general functionalities have been implemented:

  • Generation of a path on a map
  • Set up of the path: colour, thickness
  • Positioning of map markers for content pop up opening
  • Upload of content (video, sound, image)
  • Local hosting of content on the iPad for a use without connection
  • Easy update
  • Customising of the graphic interface: colours, logo, header, ...
  • Specific dashboard to explore, select and reuse external data (such as as Europeana data).

Use cases

The Urban Explore pilot was developed and tested for a collective visit, combining physical and digital mediation: the participants are guided by a speaker who uses the app to enrich the visit thanks to media. The participants are not autonomous, they browse content with the app after the speaker invites them to watch a picture or a video in link with a step of the visit.

Several other use cases are possible:

  • In the framework of a solo visit: the user is totally autonomous in his visit path and his use of the mobile app. In this case, the user walks between different points of interest proposing medias and the mediation is based on the mobile app.
  • Outdoor touristic route
  • Enriched urban promenades
  • Indoor digital guide (in a museum, in a cultural institution, or a particular place)
  • ...

Selecting the content

Urban Explore proposes several levels of content:

1. The main content
this is made of digital resources collected, editorialised and integrated into the app directly by the Project owner.
2. The external content
these contents are used to enrich the main medias and come from existing databases such as Europeana. They are aggregated into the app thanks to the search module of the CMS.
3. The User-generated content
this is a participative content layer directly harvesting on the social medias like Youtube, Instagram, Flickr or Twitter. They are pushed on the app and aggregated to the other sources of content.

The Urban Explore application is also available in a web version for access to features and additional content. The web version is a transposition of the mobile application on the web. It retains the same design and the same content.