Tool's Jason Zada (the director behind the much-lauded Take This Lollipop) worked with Australia's Tourism Victoria on Remote Control Tourist, a new crowdsourced project that lets potential visitors to Melbourne explore the city virtually via social media.
For eight hours a day, from today (October 9) to October 13, Facebook and Twitter users can log on to the Remote Control Tourist website and "control" two volunteer explorers with helmet-mounted streaming video cameras. They can check out their Instagram feeds, track their location using Google Maps or FourSquare and ask them (via a tweet or Facebook) to visit certain places, check things out or even sing a song.
Working with Exit Films and Tourism Victoria agency Clemenger BBDO, Tool and its digital team created a number of proprietary technologies for the project. They leveraged the Google Maps API to create a custom map that shows real-time tracking of the Remote Control Tourists (for over 500 locations) and built a custom GPS tracking system that works in iOS. Tool also designed a data-scraping strategy and notification plan to notify users when new content was available, and to allow them to chat and make requests to the tourists. It also used its proprietary social media software to allow the production teams to monitor Tweets and Facebook posts in real time.
The result is a fascinating glimpse into the future of tourism via social media - who needs Lonely Planet when you can use remote control tourist to plan your trip?