This tour of Portland’s Eastside Streetcar route was created in about 2 weeks at no cost as a personal project. I used all free resources.
It was partially inspired by Time Based Art’s QR code audio tour.
I used WordPress.com, Soundcloud.com, and Archive.org (for the public domain music). I used free QR code generators to create the bar codes. The bar codes should automatically link to individual pages, keyed to each streetcar stop.
If you are using a mobile phone, you will need to have a QR code reader installed and you will need a mobile data plan. Alternatively, you can look at it on the web.
These pages and their embedded music should render on both mobile devices and desktop computers, but no guarantees are offered. I am not a developer and have no particular coding skills. This site required only the simplest HTML skills to create.
I hope to make this tour available as a free download in the future. That way mobile devices would not need internet access. I’m not entirely sure how to do that. Maybe I’ll use one of those free or cheap mobile app development tools that don’t require a lot of skill, like AppMakr, Codiqa or Infinite Monkeys. DIY apps builders allow anyone to build simple apps by adding text, images and other features into a ready-made template. I’ve been told that PhoneGap is the way to go since it can use my plain vanilla HTML-5 and CSS skills and can detect your location with GPS and can utilize a camera for QR codes.
I’d like to create a GPS driven virtual tour. As you move along the route, your location would automatically trigger page loads and narration. You could choose different themes (Entertainment, Green, Business, People, Weird, or Random), and it would play automatically. Dublin’s StoryMap and Trulia have good models. Ideally, a mobile app might be able to access crowd-sourced, geo-coded Wikipedia entries, but a clickable map approach might also be used, such as Portland’s Spotsi or GeoLoqi.
Enjoy the tour. Or make one of your own!
Let’s go to Stop #1, near the Broadway Bridge ramp.
The websites and authors that I used to create this website include:
- Portland Streetcar
- Tri-Met App Center
- Vintage Portland
- Richard Thompson’s Portland Streetcar books
- Train Web
- Portland Bureau of Transportation
- Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation
- Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society
- Oregonian articles
- Tribune Articles
- Portland Business Journal
- OPB: Streetcar City
- Metro’s Bike There!, Walk There! app and walking maps
- Portland Afoot
- Portland Architecture
- Building Portland
- Max Faqs
- Oregon Electric Railway Museum
- Vintage Portland trolley footage
- Seattle Streetcar Network
- John Terry’s Oregon History
- Pictorial History of the Portland Waterfront
- Cafe Unknown
- Oregon Historical Society
- City of Portland Archives
- Oregon State Archives
– Sam Churchill, September 19, 2012
Here’s that remarkable footage of Market Street in 1906; just before the earthquake.
Other websites by Sam Churchill
- Dorothy’s Travel Adventures
- 95 Years in 95 Pages
- Astoria Daytrips
- Sheller Stories
- Sam Churchill (Big Sam)
- Portland Parkways Bike Guide
- Hayden Island Info
- Oregon Green Energy Guide
- GorgeVR.org – a 360 degree tour of the Columbia River Gorge