Author Archives: lauraherberg

2905 Garland Street, Detroit, MI 48214

Photo by Karpov the Wrecked Train

40# – The Sweet House
This free audio guide tells the story behind the former home of the Sweets, an African American family who moved to an all white neighborhood here in 1925. It is meant to be listened to on-location, not online!
8:29 minutes

Tour Starting Point – Once at the Ossian Sweet House, find the sidewalk of Garland St., in front of the house.  A family lives in this home today so please respect their privacy and stay on the sidewalk.

To listen on location with a Smart phone, grab your headphones and go to the tour starting point. Once there, pull up this webpage on your phone, and press the orange play button above. To listen on location without a Smart phone, go to the tour starting point and call (313) 483 – 4095 on a regular cell phone. Then enter 40# to access the free audio guide, “The Sweet House.”

Directions

For directions to the Ossian Sweet House click here.


93 Manchester Street, Highland Park, MI 48203

Photo by Karpov the Wrecked Train

20# – Ford’s Manufacturing Marvel
In this free audio guide we explain how Henry Ford implemented the moving assembly line and the $5 Work Day here at the Highland Park Ford Plant, and how he kind of changed the world as a result. It is meant to be listened to on-location, not online!
11:55 minutes

Tour Starting Point – Once at the Highland Park Ford Plant, feel free to swing by the historic marker on Woodward Avenue, but this tour begins at the corner of Manchester St. and John R.  You should see a sign that says “Highland Industrial Center, Woodward Manchester Corp.” We recommend staying on the side of the street further away from the plant so that you can get a better look at it.

To listen on location with a Smart phone, grab your headphones and go to the tour starting point. Once there, pull up this webpage on your phone, and press the orange play button above. To listen on location without a Smart phone, go to the tour starting point and call (313) 483 – 4095 on a regular cell phone. Then enter 20# to access the free audio guide, “Ford’s Manufacturing Marvel.”

Directions

For directions to the Highland Park Ford Plant click here.


2001 15th Street  Detroit, MI 48216

photo by Karpov the Wrecked Train

30# Michigan Central Station: Past and 2012
This free audio guide tells the story of what was like inside the station when it first opened, and what it’s like inside there today in 2012. It is meant to be listened to on-location, not online!
8:24 minutes

Tour Starting Point – Once at Michigan Central Station, just walk up to the fence in front of it. No need to actually try to get inside, we’ll take you there with the tour.

To listen on location with a Smart phone, grab your headphones and go to the tour starting point.  Once there, pull up this webpage on your phone, and press the orange play button above.  To listen on location without a Smart phone, go to the tour starting point and call (313) 483 – 4095 on a regular cell phone. Then enter 30# to access the free audio guide, “Michigan Central Station: Past and 2012.”

Directions

For directions to Michigan Central Station click here.


Photo by Richard T. James, Jr.

So you’d like to leave a story about Campus Martius? Here’s how:

1.  Leave a voicemail message

Call the voicemail system number (313) 483-4095 and press 0# when you get to the main menu.  Start by telling us your full name, where you live, and the place that you’re leaving a message about.  Also leave a phone number or an email so that we can ask you follow up questions if need be.  Your story could be broadcast or podcast down the line.

2.  Leave a message on Soundcloud

If you don’t have one already, take a quick second to set up a free SoundCloud account, then come back to here and click on this link.  Make sure you have the most recent Flash and that you enable your computer’s microphone when prompted.  Press the ‘Record’ button and respond to one or more of our prompts.  If you don’t like your recording, you’ll have a chance to redo it as many times as you need.  Once satisfied, upload your response on the following page: Share Your Story

If you prefer to do this all on your smart phone there’s an app for that:

Android app          iPhone app

3.  Leave a comment below!


Michigan Central Station. Photo by Dr. Richard T. James, Jr.

So you’d like to leave a story about Michigan Central Station? Here’s how:

1.  Leave a voicemail message

Call the voicemail system number (313) 483-4095 and press 0# when you get to the main menu.  Start by telling us your full name, where you live, and the place that you’re leaving a message about.  Also leave a phone number or an email so that we can ask you follow up questions if need be.  Your story could be broadcast or podcast down the line.

2.  Leave a message on Soundcloud

If you don’t have one already, take a quick second to set up a free SoundCloud account, then come back to here and click on this link.  Make sure you have the most recent Flash and that you enable your computer’s microphone when prompted.  Press the ‘Record’ button and respond to one or more of our prompts.  If you don’t like your recording, you’ll have a chance to redo it as many times as you need.  Once satisfied, upload your response on the following page: Share Your Story

If you prefer to do this all on your smart phone there’s an app for that:

Android app          iPhone app

3.  Leave a comment below!


Photo taken by: Karpov the Wrecked Train

So you’d like to leave a story about Highland Park Ford Plant? Here’s how:

1.  Leave a voicemail message

Call the voicemail system number (313) 483-4095 and press 0# when you get to the main menu.  Start by telling us your full name, where you live, and the place that you’re leaving a message about.  Also leave a phone number or an email so that we can ask you follow up questions if need be.  Your story could be broadcast or podcast down the line.

2.  Leave a message on Soundcloud

If you don’t have one already, take a quick second to set up a free SoundCloud account, then come back to here and click on this link.  Make sure you have the most recent Flash and that you enable your computer’s microphone when prompted.  Press the ‘Record’ button and respond to one or more of our prompts.  If you don’t like your recording, you’ll have a chance to redo it as many times as you need.  Once satisfied, upload your response on the following page: Share Your Story

If you prefer to do this all on your smart phone there’s an app for that:

Android app          iPhone app

3.  Leave a comment below!


Photo by: Karpov the Wrecked Train

So you’d like to leave a story about the Ossian Sweet House? Here’s how:

1.  Leave a voicemail message

Call the voicemail system number (313) 483-4095 and press 0# when you get to the main menu.  Start by telling us your full name, where you live, and the place that you’re leaving a message about.  Also leave a phone number or an email so that we can ask you follow up questions if need be.  Your story could be broadcast or podcast down the line.

2.  Leave a message on Soundcloud

If you don’t have one already, take a quick second to set up a free SoundCloud account, then come back to here and click on this link.  Make sure you have the most recent Flash and that you enable your computer’s microphone when prompted.  Press the ‘Record’ button and respond to one or more of our prompts.  If you don’t like your recording, you’ll have a chance to redo it as many times as you need.  Once satisfied, upload your response on the following page: Share Your Story

If you prefer to do this all on your smart phone there’s an app for that:

Android app          iPhone app

3.  Leave a comment below!


800 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226

Photo by Richard T. James, Jr.

10# – The Point of Campus Martius

This free audio guide tells the story of how local eccentric, Augustus Woodward, designed Campus Martius back in 1806. It is meant to be listened to on-location, not online!
5:36 minutes

Tour Starting Point – Once at Campus Martius Park, find something called ‘The Point of Origin.’ Look for a compass laid into the ground. It’s located between the fountain and the bistro.

To listen on location with a Smart phone, grab your headphones and go to the tour starting point. Once there, pull up this webpage on your phone, and press the orange play button above.  To listen on location without a Smart phone, go to the tour starting point and call (313) 483 – 4095 on a regular cell phone. Then enter 10# to access the free audio guide, “The Point of Campus Martius.”

11# – Campus Martius Transformed

This free audio guide tells the story of how this spot in downtown Detroit has changed since it was first created in 1806. It is meant to be listened to on-location, not online!
5:24 minutes

Tour starting point – Once at Campus Martius Park, find the Soldiers & Sailors monument, which is the large, tiered statue of eagles, soldiers and women located at the South entrance to the park. Go around to the part that faces the sidewalk to find where the monument reads, “Campus Martius Park, July 4, 1867.”

To listen on location with a Smart phone, grab your headphones and go to the tour starting point. Once there, pull up this webpage on your phone, and press the orange play button above. To listen on location without a Smart phone, go to the tour starting point and call (313) 483 – 4095 on a regular cell phone. Then enter 11# to access the free audio guide, “Campus Martius Transformed.”

Directions

For directions to Campus Martius Park click here.


Starting on October 26th, the Detroit Mobile Audio Tour will enable participants to go to a handful of interesting places in Detroit and use their phones to listen to the story behind those places.  You could call it a place-based audio project or an exercise in location-based storytelling – but no matter what you call it, the Detroit Mobile Audio Tour is not the first project of this kind. We owe credit, at least in part, to the museum audio tour, and those that have taken that model to the next level.

The projects featured here all have found ways to help listeners engage with audio stories that are linked to a physical spot.  A lot of times these projects take users out into the real world – in a neighborhood, on a corner, at a historic site. Participants can use iPods, cell phones or Smart phones to hear stories about where they are.  These projects often help participants create audio content that is then tied to a particular place.  For example, participants may be able to leave place-related voicemail messages, which will then be tagged to a spot on a map or associated with a place.

As the Detroit Mobile Audio Tour project has shifted from an idea to a work-in-progress, we’ve been studying the place-based storytelling projects that have come before us. We encourage you to take a look at them and think about how they work. Maybe they will inspire you to create your own project.

Audissey Guides

Audissey Guides is a company that bills what they do as “the evolution of paper guidebooks.”  Using mp3 audio files which you can download from the internet to your iPod or phone, Audissey Guides leads you through city walking tours.  With the aid of a map that you print from a pdf, a local narrator accompanied by ambient sounds and music, guides you to places “off the beaten path.”  Our favorite thing?  Their tours are totally free!  Go to their website by clicking here.  Or read the blog article,  How to Make an Audio Tour: Ten Tips from Audissey Guide Pioneer Rob Pyles.

Block of Time: O’ Farrell Street

This is a project that centers around a section of O’ Farrell Street in San Francisco.  True audio stories from the past and present were pin-pointed to spots on this street.  Each story was marked by a water jug with a red balloon tied to it.  Passer-byers could call a phone number listed near each jug to listen to the story “tied” to it.  This project launched as part of a one day festival but the audio is still listenable online by clicking on a google map.  Read a blog post about the project by going here.  Or listen to an interview we did with the creator of this project, Krissy Clark, by going here.

Hackney Hear

Hackney Hear is essentially a Smartphone App that triggers gps-tagged audio.  As a user walks around the London borough of Hackney they hear stories from local residents, musicians and writers. The App is free. You can check out their website by going here.  Or watch a video that helps explain the App by going here.  This is a project of the Hackney Podcast.

Hear Here

This project is collecting stories about the people and places of the Bay Area.  People who want to participate can share their story by recording a message on the Hear Here website using SoundCloud technology.  Producers then follow-up with that person and send out someone with professional recording equipment to capture the story.  Some participants are also scouted in person from the public library.  No matter where the stories come from, they all end up on an interactive online map of the Bay Area.  To listen to the audio you click on pins directly on the map.  No pop-up window, no going to a new page – the audio is right there!  To see what I mean, check out their map by going here.

Passing Stranger: The East Village Poetry Walk

This project is a narrated themed audio tour about poetry in the East Village.  The tour contains site-specific poetry, interviews with poets, archival recordings and music.  Participants are encouraged to download one long audio file and head to a starting point in the East Village.  The audio guides them through the neighborhood and lasts over an hour long.  If someone is unable to go to the East Village, they can click on an interactive online map to hear each of the pieces.  A cool feature is that if you listen to a piece of tour audio online, you get to watch a video recording taken from the perspective of a person actually on the tour.  It’s just one continuous shot taken from a tripod and facing where you would have faced on the tour.  Go to the website by clicking here.

The Place + Memory Project

This project uses people’s memories and stories to recreate places that no longer exist. Participants create a wiki post of the place they remember by writing and adding photos, videos, and audio.  Participants are encouraged to add audio content by leaving a “memory message” about the place they remember.  They can do that by calling 1-888-910-2555 (in fact YOU can do that by calling that number).  Visit the project’s website by clicking here.  Or watch the video below for a tour of how to use the site:


One more thing, the project’s creators, members of an organization called Big Shed, created a spin off project called, I kid you not, the “Poop + Memory Project.”  Intrigued?  You should be.  The crowd-sourced project has stopped taking submissions but you can listen to the content they acquired by going here.

The Sammamish River Story Line

In this project, the public was invited to go to a river trail in the Seattle area, find spots on a map, and use their cell phones to listen to stories about people who live and work near those spots on the trail.  They could do this by essentially calling into a voicemail system.  Participants were also invited to share their own stories by leaving a voicemail message which will eventually end up online.  The project was available to the public for just over a month.  A hand-drawn map was posted on websites to give people a general idea of where to find these story spots. On the trail itself, stories were marked by lawn signs, stuck in the ground. To read about the project click here. To see a Facebook event invite for this project click here.

StoryCorps: Hear and There

This project is based around audio nuggets from the StoryCorps archives.  (StoryCorps, if you’re not familiar, captures American oral histories, mostly from people with a relationship – friends, family, co-workers – interviewing each other.)  The audio used all had ties to New York’s Lower Eastside.  This audio was then geo-tagged and made available to people using an iPhone App called Getting Closer.  Using the App, you could wander around the Lower East Side and stories would start to play as you neared the locations they were geo-tagged to. Unfortunately the App is not currently  working, but the audio from the StoryCorps: Hear and There project is still available online.  Find out more by going here.  Or listen to an interview we did with the creator of this project, Krissy Clark, by going here.

Talk to the Station

Talk to the Station gives participants a chance to share what they would like to see happen to what is arguably Detroit’s most notorious abandoned building, Michigan Central Station.  (Michigan Central Station, for the record, is one of the locations that will be featured on the Detroit Mobile Audio Tour.)  While standing in front of the station, a banner tied to a fence prompts visitors to call a phone number and leave a voicemail about their idea for what the station become.  Visitors can also text ideas, write them in online, or upload photos.  Check out the project’s website by clicking here.

What awesome place-based project did we forget?  Leave a comment below or tell us about it by emailing detroitaudiotour@gmail.com.


Members of the Detroit Mobile Audio Tour (DMAT) team got to see location-based storytelling rock star Krissy Clark talk at the 2012 Third Coast International Audio Festival last weekend.  In her presentation, Clark talked about a couple projects she’s created with audio that can be pin-pointed to a place and at times, listened in that place.  Below you’ll find an interview that we did with Clark during the festival’s conference. But first, a little background on Krissy Clark’s “adventures in narrative archealogy,” as she puts it.

The red jugs in this photo marked audio stories on O’Farrell Street. Image taken from http://storieseverywhere.org

Block of Time: O’ Farrell Street is a project that Krissy Clark did on, you guessed it, O’ Farrell Street in San Francisco.  Clark put together audio stories from the past and present which could be pin-pointed to spots on this street.  She marked each of these stories with a red balloon tied to a water jug and a phone number.  Passer-byers could call the phone number to listen to the stories “tied” to the jug.  Find out more by going here.

In her project StoryCorps: Hear and There, Clark edited down audio nuggets from the StoryCorps archives.  (StoryCorps, if you’re not familiar, captures American oral histories, mostly from close ones interviewing each other.)  The thing is, she only took audio with a tie to New York’s Lower Eastside.  She then geo-tagged each story and made it available to people using an iPhone App called Getting Closer.  Using the App, you could wander around the Lower East Side and stories would start to play as you neared the locations they were geo-tagged to. Unfortunately the App is no longer available for use, but the audio from the “Hear and There” project is still available online.  Find out more by going here.

At the Third Coast International Audio Festival last week, Clark sat down with the Detroit Mobile Audio Tour’s Laura Herberg during lunch to answer questions about putting together a location-based audio project like the one we’re attempting for our tour.  Click on the audio file below to hear that interview.  But before you do, you might want to find out what Clark said in her talk.  The festival will post audio from Clark’s presentation (which also included Pejk Malinovski talking about his audio tour Passing Stranger: The East Village Poetry Walk) in the coming weeks.  Until then, you can watch a boiled-down version of her presentation in this video taken at the Web 2.0 Conference in 2011.

Below is the video of Clark’s boiled down presentation, referenced in the text above:

In addition to telling location-based stories, Krissy Clark works for Marketplace’s Wealth and Poverty Desk.