Author Archives: lauraherberg

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.

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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.


Photo by Richard T. James, Jr.

On September 24th, we’re collaborating with WDET 101.9 FM’s Question of the Day to kick off a week of you telling us what we need to know about Campus Martius Park, in order to inform our mobile audio tour. The park, located in the heart of downtown, has a history that dates back from before the Civil War and through a period when the park was adjacent to Kennedy Square. So this week we’re asking you: “­­­­­­­­What experiences or stories do you have of Campus Martius Park?”

Only responses left on Monday, September 24th may be heard on WDET but really we want to hear from you up until Sunday, September 30th, 2012. Your responses will help us make sure we’re getting the whole story on Campus Martius as we put together the audio script for our tour. Here are a few different ways you can share with us the stories you have about the park:

Leave us a voicemail

Call (951) 262-3438 to leave us a voicemail. It’s just a weird area code because we got the number on the internet. There is no fee for you to call and it should just take you a minute to leave your message.

Record your message using the SoundCloud website

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 internal 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: http://soundcloud.com/groups/tell-us-about-campus-martius/dropbox  The final step is to click on the pen icon on your wave form to edit your settings.  Make sure that you’ve enabled your file to be downloaded.

Record your message using the SoundCloud App

Sometimes its easier to record using the SoundCloud App on a smartphone than it is to record on a computer. If you haven’t already, you must first download the SoundCloud App onto your phone. It’s free and worth it. Then open up the App and click on the orange “REC” circle on the bottom menu bar. Then hit the orange “REC” button that pops up in the middle of your screen to start recording. To stop recording, press it again. If you don’t like what you’ve recorded, press “Reset” and try it again. Once satisfied, press “Save.”

Now you might actually want to login to SoundCloud on a computer. Then come back to this page and click on this link. Once there, click on the blue link underneath the “Choose File” button that says, “Select an Already Uploaded File.” A list of files you’ve already uploaded to SoundCloud will pop up. Find the one you just recorded on your App.  The final step is to click on the pen icon on your wave form to edit your settings.  Make sure that you’ve enabled your file to be downloaded.

Comment Below

Should be self explanatory.

NOTE: Responses left on Monday, September 24th may be broadcast on 101.9 FM WDET. Responses left on any other date may still be broadcast, podcast, used in an installation, or shared through social network sites. By participating, you’re saying that you’re okay with that.


The Detroit Mobile Audio Tour is a project that will enable visitors and residents alike to go to interesting places in the city and listen to audio about them, using their mobile phones.  Laura Herberg, the project’s creator, was recently awarded a SoundCloud Fellowship to help launch the first five locations of the tour.  By October 26, 2012 these five audio guides will be available to the public for listening.  We need you to help us spread the word about this project and to help us secure future funding.

Communications/Development Intern Duties
Grow our followers on social network sites like Twitter, Facebook and our email list
Promote aspects of our project through social network sites
Create and write posts for our blog
Help create our weekly newsletter using MailChimp
Draft fundraising proposals for things like the Awesome Grant, Kickstarter, and Detroit Soup
Determine other grants we may be eligible for and get us lined up to apply for those

Communications/Development Intern Duties May Also Include
Helping to promote our Narration Contest by signing folks up on the street and at events
Helping to plan our launch party and fundraiser
Helping to draft audio scripts
Giving feedback on audio scripts
Helping to book narrators for their recordings
Recruiting organizations to collaborate with

Intern Must
Have access to high speed internet
Be available to meet at cafes or other locations in the city for team meetings a couple days a week
Be reasonably available via texting or emailing throughout the day.
Be available for a phone chat to discuss work priorities most mornings.
Be able to work on the weekends (for a few hours, usually remotely)
Be proficient with WordPress Blogs or be a quick learner
Be familar with Google Docs
Be proficient with Twitter
Be okay with calling people for more information

Ideal Skills
Experience with MailChimp
Experience using SoundCloud
Knows bells and whistles of Facebook
Light audio editing skills (knows how to cut something in Garage Band)
Knows how to implement basic html code (links, spaces, etc)

Bonus Skills
Design skills
Coding skills
Video skills

Time Commitment
Between 9/17/12 – 11/1/12 we’ll ask you to work around two hours a day, seven days a week.  Most work can be done remotely, but as mentioned, we would like to see you in person at a cafe or library a couple days a week.

The intern will receive a stipend of $200 upon successful completion of the internship, November 1, 2012.

If interested please send a cover letter and resume to detroitaudiotour@gmail.com by Sunday, September 23, 2012. Please paste the cover letter in the body of your email.  If you prefer to link to a wesbite rather than a word doc resume, that is fine.  In the subject, please put “DMAT Communications/Development Intern Application.”  Applications are open until September 19th but we may select an intern before then so if interested, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  If you have questions you can send them to Laura at detroitaudiotour@gmail.com or call (206) 446 – 1491.


We want to make one thing clear: we know there’s a lot of cool Detroit tourism stuff that has existed in this city long before we came around. At the Detroit Mobile Audio Tour, our goal is not to overshadow those efforts but, instead, to shed light on them.

One of the fun organizations that gives tours in Detroit is Feet on the Street Tours, run by Linda Yellin.  Delish Detroit, the gastronomical subdivision of Feet on the Street, invites you to join them on ‘food crawls’ in the city, where a taste for tourism and culinary appreciation come together.

This week we’re teaming up with Delish Detroit to offer you two tickets to one of their “Come Hungry, Leave Happy,” Eastern Market tours.  The tickets up for grabs are for a tour on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm.  This is an $80 value.  You can find out more information about the tour by going here. Keep reading to find out the simple ways you can enter to win tickets to the “Come Hungry, Leave Happy,” Eastern Market tour with Delish Detroit.

IMAGE: Delish Detroit

There are two ways you can enter to win the tickets:

OPTION 1:  Facebook

First step, ‘Like’ the Detroit Mobile Audio Tour Facebook page.  You can find our page by going here. If you’ve liked our Facebook page prior to reading about this contest – then no sweat – you’re one step ahead.  Once you’ve liked our Facebook page, all you have to do is share the link to our page on Facebook.  In order to be eligible to win, you must share our page between Monday, September 17 — Saturday, September 23, 2012.  If you’ve shared it prior to that time period, you’ll have to share it again to be eligible for the tickets.

OPTION 2:  Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive our weekly email updates by clicking here.  If you’ve subscribed to our email list prior to Monday, September 17th then in order to enter the contest you will need to forward our last newsletter to one of your friends. In order for us to be able to track that you’ve forwarded the email, you’ll have to click the ‘forward to a friend’ link located at the bottom of our newsletter (below the narration flier), instead of simply forwarding the email like you normally do. If you go the newsletter route, in order to be eligible to win, you must either sign up for our weekly updates between Monday, September 17 — Saturday, September 23, 2012 or forward our latest newsletter to a friend, within that time period.

Selecting and Notifying the Winner

After midnight on Saturday, September 23, 2012 we will randomly select one person who successfully entered the contest.  If this person entered the contest via Facebook, we will contact them via a Facebook message, and if they entered the contest via our newsletter then we will contact them via email.  The winner will be notified on Sunday, September 23rd before 9pm EST.

If you have any questions you can contact Laura at detroitaudiotour@gmail.com.


Photo taken by: Karpov the Wrecked Train

On September 17th, we’re collaborating with WDET 101.9 FM’s Question of the Day to kick off a week of you telling us what we need to know about this location, in order to inform our mobile audio tour.  This week we’re asking you:  “­­­­­­­­What stories have you heard about what it was like to work at the Highland Park Ford Plant?”

Only responses left on Monday, September 17th may be heard on WDET but really we want to hear from you up until Sunday, September 23rd, 2012. Your responses will help us make sure we’re getting the whole story on Highland Park Ford Plant as we put together the audio script for our tour. Here are a few different ways you can share with us, the stories you’ve heard about the plant:

Leave us a voicemail

Call (951) 262-3438 to leave us a voicemail.  It’s just a weird area code because we got the number on the internet.  There is no fee for you to call and it should just take you a minute to leave your message.

Record your message using the SoundCloud website

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: http://soundcloud.com/groups/tell-us-about-the-highland-park-ford-plant/dropbox

Record your message using the SoundCloud App

Sometimes its easier to record using the SoundCloud App on a smartphone than it is to record on a computer.  If you haven’t already, you must first download the SoundCloud App onto your phone.  It’s free and worth it.  Then open up the App and click on the orange “REC” circle on the bottom menu bar.  Then hit the orange “REC” button that pops up in the middle of your screen to start recording.  To stop recording, press it again.  If you don’t like what you’ve recorded, press “Reset” and try it again.  Once satisfied, press “Save.”

Now you might actually want to login to SoundCloud on a computer.  Then come back to this page and click on this link.  Once there, click on the blue link underneath the “Choose File” button that says, “Select an Already Uploaded File.”  A list of files you’ve already uploaded to SoundCloud will pop up.  Find the one you just recorded on your App.

Comment Below

Should be self explanatory.

NOTE:  Responses left on Monday, September 17th only may be broadcast on 101.9 FM WDET. Responses left on any other date may still be broadcast, podcast, used in an installation, or shared through social network sites.  By participating, you’re saying that you’re okay with that.