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Thank you to all New Tour attendees and presenters for making this event such a success.  We have posted video of all of the sessions on our Program page — enjoy!



Surges in touring and tour-taking have often followed on the heels of technological innovation.  Two hundred years ago, mass-produced travel guides like Baedeker emerged in the wake of the industrialization of publishing and innovations in commercial travel, including the expansion of railroads and steam ship lines.  By the middle of the last century, advances in air and automobile travel and representations of travel in the mass media girded another surge in touring and tour-taking.

Fifteen years into the 21st century, the emergence and widespread penetration of digital technologies are poised to generate change yet again, allowing tour-takers to plug in, walk and learn.  Suddenly, it seems, tours are everywhere.

The number of available digital place-based tours, including both smartphone apps and mobile websites, grows every day as historical societies, libraries, museums, independent artist-designers and entrepreneurs publish tours of historic or cultural sites, public art, “lost” landscapes, entire cities and more, some relying on a mix of geo-location and text, others on multi-media features like archival photographs, video and audio recordings to create a more immersive experience.  Meanwhile, the old-fashioned docent- or citizen-led tour is not only still alive and well, but is undergoing its own renaissance, as social activists and educators design tours that stimulate civic and political engagement.

What are the challenges and opportunities associated with designing and implementing place-based tours — and where is this field headed? Join us to hear from the activists, historians, artists and entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of rethinking and redesigning tours for the 21st century.

Featured Speakers

Shannon Carroll, Vivid Story ~ Michael Epstein, Walking Cinema ~ Holly Ewald, UPP Arts ~ Morgan Grefe, Rhode Island Historical Society ~ Chelsea Gunn, Newport Historical Society ~ Therese Kelly, Los Angeles Urban Rangers ~ Monica Martinez, Refusing to Forget ~ Jim Mathews, Field Day Lab ~ Dietrich Neumann, The Campus Guide Apps ~ Denise Pinto, Jane’s Walk ~ Marc Ruppel, National Endowment for the Humanities  ~ Mark Tebeau, Director of Curatescape / Director of Public History, Arizona State University.