Future for digital travel guides looks good

Posted on 13/06/2012

This week, The Telegraph has reported that the AA Publishing is not planning to update the printed versions of its travel guides at present and is reviewing how it delivers its information, considering various digital platforms.  This doesn’t mean the demise of the travel writer.

ViewRanger has digitally published travel content from the AA over several years.  Its online guides show how moving to a digital platform creates opportunities to do things differently but still requires the valuable input of travel writers.  Travel information needs to be current and relevant.  Digital information that can be updated centrally and accessed when required has many benefits and it doesn’t have to be free.

Over the last few months, ViewRanger has entered partnerships with a number of guidebook publishers, including CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) and Cicerone, publishers of over 290 award-winning outdoors guidebooks.

blog_dig pub.pngThese two publishers have started to explore complementing their printed guidebooks with a version on ViewRanger available on a mobile phone. A benefit of publishing on ViewRanger is that the guidebook becomes instantly interactive with no further investment by the publisher.

ViewRanger allows the end-user to combine detailed mapping, such as the GB’s Ordnance Survey, with recommended routes created by experts and members of the ViewRanger community.  The routes can include the same information as the printed guide, but this can geo-tagged to appear when the visitor reaches a specific location.  It is also possible to incorporate web links, audio and video.

For example, publishers of the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail created short film clips that were activated when the walker reached a certain way mark. This provided a unique multimedia experience and only required the individual to have a smartphone. 

There is a database of over 10,000 routes in the UK to choose from and content owners can choose to offer the routes as ‘pay to download’ or free, perhaps to help publicise an event or to encourage participants for a charity activity.

CAMRA has partnered with ViewRanger to make routes and pub information from two of its popular 'Pub Walks’ books for London and Edinburgh available via ViewRanger. Simon Hall, Head of Publishing for CAMRA says: “The possibilities of using technologies such as ViewRanger for expanding CAMRA’s campaigning influence are fantastic. We are always looking for exciting new ways to showcase and drive traffic to great British pubs.”

So if you are interested in using ViewRanger as a publishing platform for your content do get in touch.

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