Of all the projects on which I collaborated with Guidekick, The Telegraph Avenue Walking Tour is my personal favourite. Without doubt, the history of Berkeley has some of the most powerful and personal stories of any project I've worked on. Berkeley was the birth place of The Free Speech Movement in the 1960s, led by the charismatic Mario Savio who made his "Bodies upon the gears" speech on the steps of Sproul Hall, on December 2, 1964. In 1972, the first Center for Independent Living was founded by disability activists, led by Ed Roberts, in Berkeley. Berkeley became the first location in America to have a region of the city which was entirely accessible to wheelchair users.
Previous to Telegraph Avenue, all of our apps had focused on a specific site or building and our maps had been created by hand by a 3D artist. The Walking Tour covers an area of dozens of city blocks so we had to integrate Mapbox's 3D map technology and customize it to suit our needs. The designers wanted to clearly indicate on the map which buildings were inside the tour region and which were there simply for perspective. I created a custom filter which took a series of bounding boxes and coloured the 3D buildings according to whether they were inside or outside of the bounding regions.
I also developed a system for placing, scaling, and orienting custom 3D models of some of the best-known landmarks in the area and integrating them seamlessly into the map.
When the app was finished, Telegraph Business Improvement District organized a fantastic launch event at Moe’s Books on Telegraph Ave. Guest speakers included locals who were firsthand witnesses and participants to the events that unfolded there in the 1960s and ‘70s. They were the same speakers who narrated stories within the app. Permanent marketing exists on Telegraph Avenue, promoting the app to visitors.