Tool's Jason Zada (the director behind the lauded Take This Lollipop) worked with Australia's Tourism Victoria on "Remote Control Tourist," a crowdsourced project that lets potential visitors to Melbourne explore the city virtually via social media.
For eight hours a day, from today to Oct. 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. Users can check out the explorers' Instagram feeds, track their locations 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 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 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.
Who needs Lonely Planet when you can plan your trip by remote control?