Monday, March 11, 2013

KMM's New Waterfront Mobile Tour

With a start-up grant of $1,500 recently approved by the Kodiak Island Borough, the museum is moving forward with its new Kodiak Waterfront Mobile Tour. The free, self-guided tour will allow visitors using cell phones to learn about the history of the harbor, from the first Native marine mammal hunters to today's modern fishing fleet and fish processing industry. The tour will incorporate text, images, sound and video files to tell the personal stories of  people who have lived and worked around the harbor, including fishermen and cannery workers.  The tour will also include the stories of survivors of the 1912 Katmai volcanic eruption and the March 1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake and tsunami. KMM aims to have two or three tour stops in place by April, 2012, with seven planned by early summer.

The mobile tour will be accessed by using he camera embedded in most cellphones to scan small printed QR codes displayed around the harbor. Scanning the QR codes will automatically bring up web pages and maps onto cell phone screens. The GPS sensor in most cellphones will allow visitors to orient themselves to historically significant places on a map of the downtown area, and learn about people and events relevant to that location. 

Technology for the tour is provided by Guide By Cell, which has previously hosted KMM's audio oral history our accompanying its "Faces of the Kodiak King Crab Fishery" exhibit. Tour formatting and design are provided by Exhibit AK of Juenau, Alaska.