Learning about the history and culture of a place that you are visiting should not end the very moment the plane hits the runway. Most of us try to absorb and learn as much as we can about a city or country before a trip. It turns us into frantic, info-hungry internet surfers who compiles lists, checklists and itineraries. We scour the bookstores and magazine stalls for travel magazines (read: books like Lonely Planet) and some even download travel apps like TripIt (run by TripAdvisor) so that we do not lose out on up-to-date information about the place.
But here is the thing – learning about a place should not end the we are already there, it should be a continuous process. Therefore, I applaud cities that runs that extra mile to ensure that visitors can get their hands on easily available information via the internet and smart devices.
That is what the town of Mystic CT has done. Take a stroll along the downtown area of mystic and you will notice more than just signs of offers, promotions and latest gimmicks. Store owners have gone ahead give permission for the placement of QR Codes on the window of their retail outlets, cafes, restaurants and roads to give visitors an inside look at how far the place has come.
This is what I would like to call the ‘instant but brief historical tour’ of the city. We should all applaud the students who researched, made and printed the QR Codes. They said that the QR Code, when scanned with a QR Code Reader will bring visitors, on their smartphones, to a Youtube video showing them a brief history of the place.
The students have done a bit of research about the roads too, which will show visitors and smartphone users how the roads were like back then, some of them were merely dirt roads and empty land lots.
Say, for instance, you are about enter a restaurant and you scan the QR Code, it might show you pictures of a land filled with nothing but trees and wild animals – what this means is that a decade ago, the building and skyscrapers weren’t even there to begin with!
The students are calling this their very special Geo Historian project but I think the authorities should give the students their resounding support for their creative thinking and inspiring effort. After all, the project is said to be a part of the Mystic River Historical Society’s fortieth anniversary.
And you know what? I foresee the fact even the locals will find the content interesting because, let’s face it, do we all really know everything about the city that we are living in? Even if we do, wouldn’t it be interesting to just jolt our memories a little when we are visiting our favorite general store to see what it was like twenty years ago?
I know I would.
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