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Applications for the Digital Tour Initiative due May 1

Update: Due to COVID-19 measures affecting people statewide, the ECDS and Georgia Humanities have extended the deadline for Digital Tour Initiative grant applications to May 1, 2020, from its original deadline of March 30, in an effort to best support our partners. Please visit the Georgia Humanities website’s Grants page for more information.

[Banner announcing Georgia Humanities’ grant deadline extensions to May 1, 2020.]

In 2019, the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship began the Digital Tour Initiative in partnership with Georgia Humanities, the Georgia state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Local non-profit organizations, government entities, schools, and libraries can apply to Georgia Humanities for grants to create walking and driving tour mobile apps through our open source web-based platform OpenTour Builder. Applications for the current cycle of Digital Tour Initiative grants are due on March 30, 2020 May 1, 2020 at 5:00pm EST. The application is available here (as a Word document).

Example of a Georgia Humanities tour using OpenTour Builder
Example of a Georgia Humanities tour using OpenTour Builder

Those selected for the Digital Tour Initiative will receive both financial support from Georgia Humanities as well as technical support from ECDS, who supports an instance of OpenTour. OpenTour Builder, launched in 2015, enables the creation of media-rich online tours that can be accessed on mobile devices without users needing to download another app. At each tour stop location, the tour designer can include images, video, text, and external links to provide historical and cultural context, tying that information to the physical space. The ECDS launched a new version of OpenTour in early 2019 that provided new functions to make tours clear on laptops and desktops in addition to mobile optimization. (You can read more about those OpenTour updates and details in an ECDS blog post from March 2019.)

Last year, Georgia Humanities awarded grants to the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority, the Etowah Valley Historical Society, the Savannah Archaeological Alliance, and the Sankofa African American Heritage Trail of East Liberty County Georgia. These projects illustrate some of the exciting possibilities for tours built on our platform. The tours they created using OpenTour Builder can be found here.