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March 22, 2012 / carlispina

Take a Tour, or Make One, with Moveable Feast

Another entry in the world of location applications is Moveable Feast. The application has two discrete pieces, the web tool for creating and publishing multimedia tours and an iPhone app for taking tours. The web tool is currently in beta, so those who are interested will need to request an invite. Once you have gained access to the web tool, you can create a new tour by specifying the location of the tour and the name of the tour. You will then be presented with a map of the selected area with several tools overlayed on top of it. In the upper left side of the map there is the option to zoom in and out and a search box to search for specific addresses or locations. There is also a small box with a target in it that has a button labelled “drop pin” at the bottom. Once you have dragged this box to the desired location, you can click the button to drop a pin in this spot on the map. This process will add the location to your list of stops on the right side of the screen. The pin can then be renamed and, once you have several pins or “stops” in place, dragged into your desired order. With stops completed, you can then click on the “Tour Media” box just above the list of stops and to the left, which allows you to upload media from your computer and associate it with stops on your tour. Media can include photos, videos, audio clips and text files that are uploaded from your computer. Once you have added your desired media, you can preview what the tour will look like and then submit the tour to Moveable Feast so that other users can find and take your tour. When submitting a tour, users have the option to give it a title, duration, distance, location, category and description to make it easy for tour takers to find a suitable tour for their needs. Tours can also have up to 5 thumbnail images from the images included on the tour as preview images. In the future, those publishing tours will also have the ability to associate a price with their tours to sell them to users of the Moveable Feast mobile app.

This then leads to the second part of Moveable Feast, the mobile application. Using Moveable Feast’s free iPhone application, which does not require a beta invitation, users can download and take any of the tours that have been created and submitted using the web tool. Upon opening the application, users are presented with their library of previously downloaded tours, an assortment of recently updated tours and a search icon to allow them to search for a specific tour. Clicking on the search icon takes users to a page where they can search by title, author or location or view tours sorted by categories. Once users select a tour, they can see a preview of it before downloading the tour and then once it is downloaded they can follow the tour at their own pace.

I think that Moveable Feast has a lot of potential for travel enthusiasts, but I also think it has some great uses for libraries, colleges and museums. With Moveable Feast, it would be quick and easy to design a multi-media tour of library branches, campus buildings, historic landmarks, or museums in the area. I could see developing a tour for new students at a college that shows off the campus and other local landmarks or activities. A public library system could use it to highlight the unique features of each of its branches by including pictures, text, audio or even video of every branch. While these uses are a bit limited by the need for users to download the Moveable Feast app to view the tour, given that this is a free app and it is quick to develop a tour, I think this could still be a worthwhile application if you know that your target audience includes a large number of iPhone users. I have a couple of invitations to the beta version, so let me know if you are interested in trying it out.

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