What this has to do with placemaking

What this has to do with placemaking

A period tour guide in action
A period tour guide in action

After walking every day past dazed visitors, and costumed guides in Revolutionary War attire (above), it dawned on you: it’s tough being a tourist in Boston. It's not much easier being a visitor. And it could be better to be a resident.  

Maybe new technology -- which promises to deliver more relevant, more immediate information after all -- could help this situation? Make it more interesting? More engaging?

Back at the dawn of the web, O’Reilly Media CEO Tim O’Reilly used to talk about “information pain.” Back then the pain was around building web sites, and navigating the internet.

Now you are seeing a slightly different kind of information pain every day, whenever you step outside: visitors who don’t know what to do next, or what they should be doing. And what’s worth doing in Boston anyway? 

Painful, informationally.

You decide to see if "mixed reality" -- a loose catch-all term to describe the intersection of the latest information technologies -- augmented reality, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things -- could be pressed into the service of this challenge.

Could those technologies help convey a more interesting sense of these places?

You aren't aware, at the time, that there is a big catchall term for this pursuit: "placemaking." 

You aren't aware, at the time, that there is a big catchall term for this pursuit: "placemaking." 

It's a much bigger concept than your "mixed-reality-meets-place" idea, and eventually placemaking takes over the project. 

(With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, a few years later, a new kind of information pain surfaced -- one that also presented a placemaking challenge and invited a technology response. More on this in Season 3.)

But before all that -- the "placemaking" and the Covid response -- you have to assemble your mixed reality tools. 

Bonus Content

In the meantime, as a bonus track, here are two more costumed guides that you point your phone at, usually on your way to or from lunch.

Unless you are in a rush, you always stopped to listen to them for a minute or two.

The two phrases you hear most often: "Despite what you were taught in school..." and "What really happened..."

You also hear those phrases spilling from the Duck Boats that ply this neighborhood.

That's tourist take-away gold: the real story. 

A costumed tour guide in Boston


Costumed Tour Guide

How this started

Roll some mixed reality into this space