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An iTour is an internet-enabled tour of a build, campus, region or city. Typical iTours include multimedia presentations such as interactive maps, streaming video of selected sites, immersive 360 degree panoramic photographs, audio podcast, photographs, and other media.
Types of iTours
iTours typically use mp3 technology. A user, usually a tourist, visits a website on the Internet and downloads an audio tour of an area the tourist is interested in. This audio tour is loaded onto a portable electronic device, such as a digital audio player, a cell phone, or other portable electronic device. The user then listens to the audio tour while walking or driving through the area being described on the audio tour. The audio tour may also be accompanied by a downloadable map or other written explanation going with the audio tour.
The iTour media permits the user to skip ahead to other tracks if not interested in the present subject being described, or to listen to a supplementary track providing further information about the subject being described.
iTours may be accompanied by photographs, maps, or other written materials which can also be downloaded to aid the user. There are presently iTours available in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Brussels, Belgium, Glasgow, Scotland, Savannah, Georgia, New York, New York, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, California, Frederick, Maryland and other tourist destinations. It is believed that the 2005 iTour of Glasgow (narrated by broadcaster Jim Gellatly), may have been the first such tour that was widely available, although audio tours on cassette tape players (and more recently CD-based tours) have been in existence since the advent of portable audio players in the 1970s. However, neither of these formats could be downloaded by the user at home before arriving at the site to be toured.
iTours are also "Location-aware", by using GPS and cell location technology, audio and video is delivered based on user location, where audio (and visual) content is triggered by a user's location, and GPS tours are transmitted to the user in "real time."
iTours that are GPS-enabled are delivered by CityTrex LLC in Savannah, GA. This is done through a strategic alliance. GPS devices are made available & content can be rented & put in your own GPS device (Garmin nuvi line currently, 350 & above, with routed tours available on the 700 & above series).
Geovative Solutions provides a web application--GeoTours--that allows people to create, share, download and experience GPS-enabled I-Tours which present audio, images, and text that are triggered by the user's location. These tours run on Garmin and TomTom devices, smartphones, PDAs, iPods, MP3 players, and other devices.
iTours may also take the form of an immerse experience via the internet and the user's computer. A typical virtual iTour consist of an interactive map (image) with hyper links to other multimedia elements, such as video, audio, or simulations (virtual reality).