Guidance about the footpaths to take on three of the most popular rambles can now be listened to while walking via the Geotourist app and website, www.geotourist.com, an educational social media platform for location-specific audio being developed by a newly-established Barnet company.
Geotourist is the brainchild of a Shaon Talukder, a Barnet resident who is eager to ensure that his home town is one of the first to benefit from this technological breakthrough.
Well over a hundred tours, in locations across the UK and in the rest of the world are already on offer on the app and he believes Geotourist’s help in promoting walks around Barnet is an ideal way to present and share local knowledge. Shaon, who has lived in Barnet since the early 1980s, went to school at Underhill and Christ’s College, Finchley.
Installing this innovative free app takes only a few seconds, and once uploaded to a smartphone a walker’s location is picked up and registered by GPS data and gives an instant link to the recordings and nearby descriptions.
Owen Jones, who was the inspiration behind the Society’s two rambles booklets, has narrated a podcast for the three walks that are now being made available. As well as providing instructions, he gives the listener information about local landmarks and other points of interest along the way.
“Our aim is to provide a step-by-step guide on the best routes to follow while at the same time explaining the local topography and history.
“These footpaths were surveyed for the Barnet Society precisely seventy years ago by Mr E H Lucas and are all set out in the two editions of Rambles Round Barnet.
“Now we are hoping to encourage a new generation of walkers to experience the delights of the footpaths running through the Green Belt around Chipping Barnet.
“We know from the Paper Shop in the High Street that some local residents who buy Rambles Round Barnet do not actually go on the walks, but enjoy reading about the local countryside. Now they have the opportunity to hear a description of the walks via their smartphones, personal computer or laptop and they can see the wonderful pictures that have been loaded on to the Geotourist app and website.”
Owen has prepared a short guide to help walkers access the Geotourist app for the three walks for which recordings are available:
- Hadley Green, Hadley Common and Hadley Woods (2 mile walk).
- Darlands Lake Nature Reserve, Totteridge.
- Ridge village and 2 mile walk.
Each walk is described in detail in a booklet published by The Barnet Society, Rambles Round Barnet (volume 2).
Go to www.geotourist.com and register with the company. This will involve ticking the ‘Accept terms and conditions’ box. These are essentially the familiar statements produced by the company lawyer with no hidden traps for the unwary.
You will be asked to generate your own password below the space which probably has your email address already displayed.
Typing in any of the above three walks titles into the ‘SEARCH’ box will lead to the ‘Introduction’ page of that walk.
You will also see a sequence of small photos and brief descriptions of each of the ‘Tour Points’. It is well worth while looking at each one of these on your PC or laptop before setting out on the walk itself.
The large and unobscured photos can be viewed at home while listening to the audio commentary about that particular area. The photos on your phone will obviously be a lot smaller and the ‘Start/Pause’ button and the progress ring will reduce the clear image area further.
A remarkable feature of the Geotourist software is that when you have their app on your phone and have selected a particular walk, your specific location as you walk along is registered by the software from the GPS data and will automatically play the relevant audio.
SatNav users are familiar with this function built into these devices.
Registered users can also create and share their own interesting walks with others using the simple online website interface. This can be used to help increase local knowledge for the community and visitors to our town in a new immersive way.
Full instructions are available for various smart phones. For android devices click on the following link:
For Apple devices click on the following link.