Ask and you shall receive – Translations are coming up.

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TranalateSome of our customers gave us feedback in the fall of 2015, asking if we would translate our apps into other languages than English. We liked the idea right away and started looking into what guides would benefit the most from a translation – And which languages that would make the most sense.

Therefore, we have had 6 freelancers doing translations in November and December and we are now working on building the translated guides into downloadable apps. We expect to release them over the next couple of months.

The translations we have in the release pipeline for now are:

  • Forum Romanum
    • In German, French and Italian
  • Forum Romanum and Palatine Hill
    • In German, French and Italian
  • Herculaneum
    • In German and Italian

More translations will be done on other apps as well, so stay tuned.

New design and user interface

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Screenshot_2016-01-26-15-30-36

We have been busy this winter and have given our apps a facelift. Right now, we are doing the final testing and expect to release the new design within weeks.

So what is new? Overall, we have changed our code base, making it easier for us to release new guides and apps. But more importantly we have put on our user experience eyes and redone some of our features – our tour planner has especially been given a facelift that will make the planning of your visit a lot easier, thereby making your visit that much greater.

Over the next month or two, we will make the new design available for the existing guides, starting with some of our bestselling apps focusing on Pompeii, Forum Romanum and Herculaneum.

Also, the two new guide apps focusing on Chichen Itza and Alcatraz will be released in the new design. We expect them to be available within the next couple of months as well.

Sneak peak of new design for the guides

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The first beta test screenshots from the new design – more will follow shortly.

Our first year in business

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A little over a year ago, we published our first app for Android devices and within the next 3 months we had 3 apps available for both Android and Apple devices, we had our website up and running, and we were present on various social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

When we hit springtime 2015, things kind of “took off”. Sales started to rise, new apps got published and new functionality like the Audioguide and the Tourplanner was made available to the user. It was awesome to know that people actually used our products, and some of you were kind enough to give us feedback as well – thank you all for the inputs, we really appreciate them.

Now after a full year, we are about to release our tenth app, we are close to releasing all our existing apps on the Windows and the Amazon platforms, and we have started on implementing a brand new design in our apps, which is more modern and up to date in user friendliness.

We will keep you up to date on our work in the coming year, and please feel free to check out the apps that we currently have for sale at iTunes and the Google Play store. Many more will come.

Same concept, new type of content

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We have just released our ninth app, which makes me damn proud. In the app we have switched focus from an excavation site to a historical area – namely the ancient imperial city called the Forbidden City in Beijing.

This switch to an area of buildings that can be seen in all their glory hasn’t really been that difficult, and the concept is still the same – we want to educate and to give you accurate information about the buildings in the area at hand.

However, something that has proven difficult has been the translation between Chinese and English. Normally we depend on the names of the structures in an area in order to do research on them. In the case of the Forbidden City, we found that the names of the structures could vary a lot, all depending on the source of information that you choose. Some of the names of the buildings have been translated in 2 or 3 different ways. Therefore it took a little more research effort than normal, but once we figured out that a building might be named different things, it all started to come into place.

We hope you enjoy the app, and please let us know if you have any suggestions for improvements. You can download the app for Android and Apple devices right here

Have you ever been lost in a museum?

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Guide map

I’ve visited a lot of excavation museums around the world, and more often than not I have ended up getting lost – Where am I? What is it I am looking at? Am I getting the right information about this building?

Being lost is one thing, but I can’t help starting to wonder – Did I miss anything extraordinary back there? Did I miss that beautiful temple, or was it actually what I was looking at earlier? How can I be sure that I’ll be able to find the rest of the buildings I want to see at the site?

In the apps that we provide, we have put in a lot of effort to ensure that you don’t miss a thing when you visit the sites. In order to do so, we have provided two different map options – one with an overview of the entire museum you are visiting, and one that shows the layout of the building that you are looking for. Both maps are GPS powered, so it will always mark your position accordingly to the building in question.

In addition to the maps, we also provide one or more pictures of the buildings that are described in the apps. The pictures show exactly what to look for while exploring the museum site. And since the app also provides an audio guide to the excavation sites, then it is no problem using pictures, texts, maps and 3D models of the building while you are sightseeing.

How did we get the idea for the app?

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The idea for the app came to me when I visited Forum Romanum in Rome.

I was sitting in the shadows waiting for my friend to return, and I was watching the visitors at the Roman Forum. Everyone, including me, was carrying a book about Rome and a map given for free at the entrance, which had absolutely no information about the buildings at all. Furthermore, many of them brought printed papers from home which explained the use of the ancient buildings – some visitors had even paid the ridiculous high price for an audio guide that matched the free map from the entrance… Most importantly though, everyone was using their smartphones to take pictures, and then the idea hit me – Why not put all that stuff everybody was carrying around into the smartphones which everybody seemed to bring along anyway?

So the mission was clear, and the goal was set. We wanted to enrich people’s visit to the excavation site and give them simple access to as much reliable information as possible, and we wanted to do it at a cheap and affordable price… only thing that remained was how to do this.

Back home in Copenhagen, things were set in motion. The first prototype was a website which covered Forum Romanum and Ostia. However, in order to avoid getting extremely large phone bills for data transfer, you need to be offline when visiting the sites, so a web based solution didn’t really fly. We did, however, get a lot of valuable know-how from doing the site, so it wasn’t a complete waste.

The next step was the app, and Forum Romanum was first in line. It was available in the late summer of 2014. The first release was for Android devices, but soon after it was available on both Android and Apple devices. Today I am proud to say that we now cover 8 excavation sites, ancient cities and fortifications around the world, and more are already in the making, including the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Copenhagen Citadel. Coming up is also a brand new design of the user interface, making it even more simple to plan your visit to the site, use the audio guide and navigate the museum/site you are visiting.

Please check out the apps and let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions that might improve them.