Current course on ArchaeoTrail
I have reported about my courses in the past. Today I want to talk about a new course that I give at the University of Cologne (2023). In collaboration with a colleague of the Archaeology of the Roman Provinces in Cologne, I am giving a course on creating an ArchaeoTrail for Roman Cologne. So far, the ideas look promising…
What is an ArchaeoTrail?
ArchaeoTrail is an app for creating archaeological tours all over the world and using them through your smartphone. I recently tried it out, when I was in Amsterdam and was very happy with it. Additionally, I also spoke to parts of the team that created the app, namely Stephanie Döpper and Luise Loges. I also have listened to one or two presentations about it (see at the end)
Archaeological sites offer valuable insights into the secrets of the past. Without a good presentation, however, this knowledge is difficult to access for visitors. The ArchaeoTrail App offers you the opportunity to discover archaeological sites. With the help of GPS, you are guided with your smartphones along a suggested route to the various stations of the tour. Interested? Download the ArchaeoTrail App from the Google Play or Apple App store and find out which trails are near you.https://archaeotrail.org/
What is the course about?
So we had the idea that we create a trail for Roman Cologne, as the city has many visitors and a lot of archaeological ruins and sites still visible today. So in cooperation with the Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, we created a course for BA and MA students of Archaeology and Digital Archaeology in the summer semester 2023. We already had a couple of classes and the students got many very good ideas, so that we ended up with at least three different trails to create.
One group is specifically tailored towards a professional audience, that doesn’t shy away from spending the whole day in Cologne and finding all its secrets. A second group creates a more common trail that intends to speak to a broader audience like tourists, school classes and other non-professionals. A third group finally creates a trail for kids (between 8-11) that will be a lot shorter and more interactive and fun.
What to expect
So the course will still go on until mid-July where we plan to have finished the trails. We accounted for testing and adapting as well and hope we can finish by the end of the semester. After that however, we still have to upload the trails to the app. A committee of volunteers help to decide if the trails are appropriate for publication. If our trails are approved, you will find them in the freely available app.
Although we just started, I have a great feeling about this. The students are very motivated to do something else for a change. I was told by the creators of the app, that usually a lot of work has to be done at the end. I don’t mind that really, but we need to have an eye on our deadlines. As soon as it is available, I will let you know.
Below I link to an online presentation of Stephanie Döpper (in German) about the app and its applications.