Fort Smith Tourism App Ready To Download – Times Record

FORT Smith

Times Record Fort Smith Tourism App Ready To Download Times Record Image Courtesy Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau A mobile app for both iPhones and Android smartphones and tablets is now available from the Fort Smith Convention & Visitors…

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Finally! If you dig through my blogs on tourism and location based technology I have been prodding and waiting for apps like this for so long.

On my last 3,500km USA road trip I found it so hard to get good information. I emailed tourism boards and got very nice old school magazines about places to see and things to do, but it was all but impossible to reference them on a single trip map.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I am an uber geek and had my trusty TomTom, Foursquare, and a pile of other apps I would have missed out on so many great locations and also struggled to remember where all the hundreds of photos I took came from. If you are going on a road trip check out these blogs for some ideas that will make your trip more enjoyable.

I’m a long way from Fort Smith, so I have to go by the article, but it sounds like everything I was looking for:

-Places to visit

-Maps and navigation

-the ability to communicate with retailers and attractions

-deals from businesses based on your interests and your current location

Of course the app is only one side of the coin. The hard part is getting the local businesses to embrace it. It’s no use having the ability to make offers. Retailers and attractions now have to come to the party and use it. That will not come natural to them.

I do hope that the developers have considered the potential to work with a marketing company to provide information to local businesses about potential customers and how to use the system.

I had a complete concept developed around this space in a previous life and found that they key was that most businesses didn’t understand the opportunities that location based services offer. The strength isn’t about old school marketing of discounts and coupons. It’s easy but its complex in that it will not be front of mind.

The times you want to offer deals is when you’re quiet. If the sightseeing tour bus is going to be half empty, do a deal for the tourists close by that are using the app. People on a full bus will have much more fun.

If the app knows you have kids and its a hot day, give them a deal at Parrot Park. Water slides and pools are much more fun for kids when they are busy with new friends to play with. Parrot Island.JPG

Much of US tourism is still focused on old school paper or on web pages that are just a republish of the paper version. They will not generate more business. But even the best app, without engaging the businesses will have limited success. So I hope that the Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau understands that the app is just the starting point. If they do it well, it could be a great financial boost for the region and the industry.

Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau
Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Posted in location based marketing, Location Based Servces, Tourism, Tourism apps, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Digital radio, GPS upgrades improve Lee schools’ bus fleet – The News-Press

Lee schools’ upgraded to a digital radio and GPS system, improving communication and streamlining how the fleet is tracked.

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I look forward to the day when stories like this are no longer newsworthy, when every school bus, in fact every form of public transport is being tracked in real time.

Once again this is coming about because of demands from parents about the safety of their children.

It’s great to see Lee School employing people to monitor the information as well because so any projects involve investing in the technology, monitoring it for a short time and then forgetting about it until something goes wrong.

One of the common treads I hear about these systems not working is that some organizations, from schools to the Police Department don’t have the resources to manage them, that’s about as useful as having a security company sticker on the glass window of a bank, but no alarm system.It’s just hardware and software, without humans and processes, it’s nothing.

Such a large network of transport with so many students, means high turnover of drivers and also management of the runs in real time when a bus breaks down, a driver calls in sick, or when there are capacity problems.

It would be great if they maintain all driver information, licensing, maintenance and registration details on the vehicles, not just how they are being driven. It’s just data and GPS is the common denominator.

Nice to see added enhancements such as video for safety and security, better radio communications and proximity cards that don’t have to come out of students pockets and can also be used in the library and cafeteria.
Well done Lee County.

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Google Trending Searches

Explore trending search topics with Google Trending Searches.

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Before writing my blog this morning, I thought I’d check what was trending in the USA, given that’s where most of my readers are and it surprised me. It might not surprise you.

The result draws me to one of two conclusions. One, we are really insular as people; or two, we are reaching overload of bad news and need some escapism.

Google Trends reflect the searches that had the highest volumes and these ones were collated about 5 hours before I wrote this blog. So here are the the top 10 searches this morning.

Why do I sometimes look at trends?

First because it lets me know what people are actually thinking about rather than what editors and journalists want us to think about.

Second, because as a blogger and writer if you want reads, then its a good idea to know what the largest group of people in your particular audience are thinking and talking about.

1. The Seahawks were beaten by the Cardinals despite being 19:0 up at one stage. That’s the top search for the USA.

2. Don Vito, the father of Jackass, reality TV star turned sex offender, died, aged 59.

3. Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots needs foot surgery and might not return this season.

4. Peyton Manning of the Kansas City Chiefs appears to have lost his greatness.

5. Like the Seahawks, the Philadelphia Eagles scored touchdowns on their first two opening plays…… and lost.

6. iCarly stars reunite at Nathan Kress’ wedding

7. Aaron Rodgers shows respect for Detroit Lions corner back Darius Slay during and after the game.

8. French jets bomb ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.

9.Miller and Langford lead the Chicago Bears to Victory.

10. Cleveland Browns coach can no longer justify tethering Johnny Manziel to the bench.

So there you have it folks, the top 10 Google searches in the USA. What do you think?

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GPS tracking device helps Nassau County mother keep her boys with autism safe

A mother in Nassau County is using GPS to track her children who have special needs.

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There is a common thread that children with autism can wander off and get lost. This story starts with a 14 year old autistic boy who went missing after he walked out of his school in Queens 2 years ago. His body was found in a river 4 months later.

The device that is demonstrated in the video in this story has all the tracking features of a GPS that you would expect, such as geofencing and alerts.

It also has a listening function so if the child is inside where the GPS can’t operate, you can get some sense of where they are by the background sounds.

A nice feature with this product is that it is connected to the child’s clothing with a magnetic key which can only be removed by their parents.It won’t fall off and get lost.

The children say that they feel safer knowing they can be found if they wander off and get confused about their location.

Ignoring the cost and stress of sending out search parties, this product is providing peace of mind to everyone involved from the parents to the children and even the school.

If you have a child who suffers from any condition where they can become spatially disoriented or lost, I recommend you explore the many options now available to you. This technology has matured significantly in the last few years and costs are also dropping quickly. Do note however it is a solution you need, not a piece of hardware with a SIM card in it.

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World Stands by Paris by Representing French Flag in World Landmarks

Cities around the world lit up in the colors of the French flag on Friday to show their support and solidarity with those affected by the terrorist attacks in Paris.

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Locations all over the world have shown solidarity with Paris overnight. From the Auckland Museum to the White House buildings have been draped in le tricolor.

This leads to so many location based stories, but today all I want to offer is respect and sympathy for the people in Paris and their friends and families, colleagues and loved ones.

I hope that my predictions and fears for peace and security in the near future of Europe are unfounded and that thousands of innocent people are not hurt in the backlash.


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Uber partners with TomTom for Maps

TomTom, the navigation company, said on Thursday it had signed a multi-year deal to provide Uberwith digital maps for the software used by its drivers. It is the …

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This is a really good story from the perspective of the trustworthiness of Uber drivers. Providing every driver uses it. I have been in many a taxi where they have navigation or routing, but it is turned off.

Traffic is dynamic and I don’t care how well the driver knows his route they don’t know there was an accident ahead that is impeding it.

I also have plenty of experience around the world of drivers who deliberately take you the wrong way in order to squeeze another eagle out of the fare.

I’m hoping that Uber will make this mandatory for drivers, because that will crank up the trust ratio big time.

I travel to Wellington a lot and the stock question is “around the waterfront or through the tunnel.” I ask them what is best, the safe answer is I think and frequently what they ‘think’ is wrong. I should do a study and see if it exceeds the law of averages.

I save their mind from any further thought by getting out my smartphone and looking on a traffic map myself. Lately my mobile map of choice has been Google for that specific purpose and it hasn’t let me down. As you probably know, I have car navigation apps for Africa, my navigation devices like TomTom and Siemens VDO now have out of date map data-sets, but the apps are pretty current.

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Google Maps offers offline option when Internet is spotty – Washington Times

Google Maps is getting disconnected.

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It’s about time they did this, although it’s easy to understand why they don’t want you to be offline, because their fundamental aim is to sell location based advertising. I used HERE maps offline in Australia a month or so ago because I was worried about the data costs, but I did use the online real time traffic feature.

If Google do it really well, the vendors you are directed towards will be relevant to your interests and if you trust Google, they will know a lot about your interests and activiy.

For example they are going to advertise petrol prices, probably not near me, but in places where it is easy for them to access it, or where they can sell advertising deals to oil companies where regional prices are managed on central or cloud servers.

They will know when you last got petrol and how far you’ve driven on your tank (if you give them permission) and will therefore know when it is a good time to promote the nearest station (if you’re lucky, the one with the best deals). They will know if you are going to work, if you are going home, and are likely to offer you info about restaurants, shops, entertainment and more.

If they get it right and you aren’t too spooked about privacy risks and whether your information is truly anonymous (it doesn’t worry most people on social media), then this could end up being ubiquitous. Google will become your personal assistant, even on your iPhone.

Won’t that be interesting? How is Apple going to fight back. If the most useful app for some people is a Google app, would you consider tossing away your iPhone when it’s time to buy your next device and get an Android?

I’m thinking about it.

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