GWW is excited to be launching a new project this month which brings together different teams interested in thinking about being in the city, health and wellbeing, and being in Aberdeen especially. Our aim is to develop an app for smartphones and tablets which combines sounds, images, narrative, history and health-related data to accompany people through Aberdeen on different walking routes. The project team is Heather Morgan, Pete Stollery and Ed Welch from the University of Aberdeen, working with app developer Andrew Sage, and funded by a Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation grant from the University of Aberdeen. We’re also pleased to be working with Visit Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council on how the app might appeal both to the city’s residents and its visitors.
Over the past few years, the project team have all been engaged in exploring how people relate to and perceive the city. Pete has been steadily accumulating his bank of Aberdeen sounds, some of which could be heard in the soundscape for City of Ghosts. With Pete, Áine Larkin and John Perivolaris over the past couple of years, Ed has run the Material City event as part of the university’s May Festival, which asks people to head out into the city armed with a camera and photograph things they might not normally see. Heather and Andrew have been running urban walks drawing on the GWW archive, encouraging people to look again at the city from vantage points found in photos by Washington Wilson to re-photograph them.
Drawing on Andrew’s expertise in the realm of open data, we will be looking to crowdsource data to feed the development of the app in the form of images, sounds and narratives about the city’s places, streets and changes. We will be running workshops in April inviting people to join us in creating the app, building up to a third running of Material City in May, when we will undertake two walks through the city using prototypes of the app. The first, based on images, will be led by Heather and Andrew. The second, based on sound, will be led by Pete. Further updates on the project and app progress will follow over the next few months. Meantime, please visit us to have a look at our work in progress, including newly developed 360o images of parts of the city, at this week’s Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Conference 2016: Tourism – The Future is Changing.