The hope is that with a map full of suggestions, visitors are more likely to string together several destinations. I don’t know if there are any scientific studies to show their results, but I’ll bet we can enhance them with some interactive online tools.
The most obvious interactive tool is a mashup map online. Here’s the online map for Agritourism. Now, a smaller region on a budget probably can’t invest in this kind of interface, though it is lovely! What can you do with little or no budget? Here are three suggestions:
- Take your digital camera and shoot simple, clear one minute videos of attractions. Use TubeMogul to post them to a multitude of sharing sites.
- Build Facebook Fan Page or Ning community, post your info, and let your travelers share their own photos and stories.
- Set up a Flickr Group for photos from your trail.
- Be sure to link all of these to your main website and to share the links on your map.
Now, how about some accessories? The Great Plains Trail is a wildlife trail, and the map group also created some collector cards featuring different birds. How could we build an online component to these neat little cards?
- Add a website address. Tell more about the card, and where to get more.
- Give GPS coordinates of the attractions, in this case, driving loops on the trail.
- Make a forum post on your Facebook Page or Ning community for people to comment and register their cards. Encourage them to share their travel story.
As always, you have the best ideas. How would you add online interaction to paper maps? What other ideas do you have?
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.