The Design and Implementation of an Alternative Guide using a mobile phone, in the city of Volos

Athanasios Mpardas
Niki Nikonanou


The history of a city plays an important role in the life of its citizens, but the citizens themselves are the ones define in a great extent the way that the city outstands among the rest of the cities, by trying to highlight its own special characteristics. Apart from its citizens, there are also the city’s buildings, which are also affect to a large extent its identity and physiognomy. Through the history of a city’s buildings, it can also be identified its own historic development; this its citizens and visitors could have the opportunity to learn the city’s history by observing and following its buildings. Nowadays, the Cities’ Museums are the ones that can help to highlight the local history, based on oral testimonies and by using new technologies. The use of the new technologies, especially of mobile phones, can contribute to this historic exploration, with a creative but simultaneously alternative way, since it diverges from the narrow limits of a simple city tour. Smartphones, combined with the appropriate applications (apps) could become the visitors’ and citizens’ tour guides, through an alternative city tour that includes as stops, different important and historic city parts. Thus, the historic knowledge can be acquired by a different more interactive and creative way. Volos, as a city with rich industrial history, has important historic buildings which are worth studying and could be incorporated in an alternative city tour which aims to the contact with city’s history through its buildings. The different approaches with respect to the buildings are those that give a different point of view regarding the contact with the city’s history. This was achieved, apart from simple listing of information, by using citizens’ testimonies either ready from museums and online or collected during the writing of the current thesis. The aim was to highlight the different use of buildings in present, often in comparison with their previous use in the past and if the use of smartphones has strengthened the citizens’ knowledge about the city’s history.