IF WALKING around Uralla wasn’t already pleasant enough, locals are working to give visitors to the area a tour with a difference thanks to some new technology.
The town is preparing to launch the Sound Trails smartphone app, a new GPS-based program that will give visitors entertainment and information through their mobile phones while they walk around the town’s streets.
The app includes professionally produced “soundscapes”, where listeners can hear music, poetry, readings from historical documents and recordings from local people telling their own stories relevant to the sites visitors walk by.
The app, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, also includes sound trails for Warialda and Myall Creek and will be officially launched at McCrossin’s Mill, Uralla, at 2pm on Saturday.
Hamish Sewell from The Story Project came up with the idea while working with Uralla Arts on the recording of stories in Uralla.
He began working with local historians and residents and a team of app developers to put his idea into fruition.
“Sound Trails is destined to become a whole new delivery system for experiencing stories on location,” he said.
“It is simple, powerful and highly evocative.
“If there’s a way to get local stories and local history into the heads of the younger generations, let alone people from across the world, then this is it.”
The project has been supported by organisations including New England Mutual, federal and local governments (Uralla and Gywdir shires), Phoenix Foundry, Starfish Initiatives, Uralla Arts, QUT and The Story Project.
It can be downloaded by going to www.soundtrails.com.au on your mobile device and clicking on the “iPhone App Store” or “Android Google Play” icon. Then, as you walk through the landscape, the GPS automatically activates the recordings as you enter the appropriate geographical area.