South Dublin County Heritage Trail App
The South Dublin County Heritage Trail App was launched by the Mayor of South Dublin County Council at an event in the Round Tower Visitor Centre – Brú Chrónáin, Clondalkin, Dublin on Tuesday 18 February, 2020. The app is fully interactive, is user-friendly and highlights the history and heritage of Clondalkin village whilst drawing attention to the Round Tower Visitor Centre, and the 1,000 year old Round Tower as a focal point of the trail, increasing the footfall in the area from both national and international tourists. A mobile tourism app can greatly expand on the capabilities of the phone, for example using GPS to guide the user, the camera to share the user’s experiences and audio to enhance the details, which combined, makes the experience much more immersive, engaging and real, helping to bring historical sites to life. The idea for the app came out of the €300k Have Your Say Participatory Budgeting consultative process for the Clondalkin Electoral Area, where members of the public were asked by South Dublin County Council to suggest funding ideas for their area and then vote on a shortlist of agreed projects. This innovative heritage app is the first of its kind in the local authority sector in Ireland and was the result of a number of months of work. It has multilingual capabilities, is available on different mobile app platforms and uses maps to direct users to nearby places of interest. The app includes 16 individual heritage points of interest in and around Clondalkin village using images, text and audio for each point and is available in Irish, English, French and German. It is wi-fi activated and uses Android or Apple maps to direct users to nearby places of interest. Each site will have its own uniquely identifiable sign that will display a QR code to allow anyone download the app. Features: (1) The user can pick any point on the trail in which to go. The user can either follow the map available on the app (user can zoom in) or via Google/Apple maps. (2) The user can also find the Heritage Site that is closest to them by using the “Near Me” option and get directed to that point by pressing the map. (3) A carousal of images brings the user through time from old to the new. (4) The text is available in English, Irish, French and German (5) There is also an audio guide available in English, Irish, French and German (6) The app can detect the language of the user's phone; if it is on one of the languages previously mentioned it will automatically open the app in that language and match the audio guide to it. (7) It is self guided so the user can choose what to see and when and the app will then guide the user around the trail. Future capabilities of the app include the following: (1) The ability to use Social Media for Check ins (2) Can add Augmented Reality in the future (3) Can put temporary trails in such as an Easter Egg Hunt or a St Patrick's day trail (4) Ability to put a news/events section on the App linking in with the local tourism website (5) The ability to expand the app to cover all 9 villages of SDCC The app was launched a month before Ireland went into national lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Inbound international visitor travel was suspended, and local populations were limited to initially 2km and then 5km distance from their homes. The app was promoted to the villagers and local population in Clondalkin, who took to the app with great positivity. Local cultural heritage is everywhere around us, but often remains unnoticed. During the travel restrictions, the South Dublin County Heritage App allowed people of all generations to interact with their own local cultural heritage environment in a fun and entertaining way during their daily 'lockdown walks', by highlighting the history and heritage around them which may have been overlooked in a busy pre-pandemic world. The application stores information from over a 1,00 years of local history (monastic, cultural, industrial, etc) and makes it accessible to all ages through images, text and audio. The success of this heritage trail app has encouraged other local communities in South Dublin to enquire about developing their own trails, in order to record, store, share, promote and teach their own local cultural heritage as part of a wider European cultural heritage. The app is free to download to mobile phones and tablets by searching South Dublin Co Heritage or Clondalkin Heritage Trail.

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