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Stephen Mulhern and Emma Willis 9am - 12pm
16 September 2012, 08:32
Oxford's 10 million visitors a year will soon be able to see images and hear about the history of the city's top attractions as new interactive signs are rolled out.
Oxford Explore is an integrated set of signs, maps and information panels that highlight the city's many attractions and make it easier for tourists to take new routes to get around.
The system is one of the first in the UK to combine traditional fingerposts and map panels with state-of-the-art technology that allows people to access stories, images, audio and film footage on their smartphone, revealing more about Oxford's history, architecture and culture.
User click on a QR code or enter a simple URL to access a mobile-optimised website, where they can view vintage pictures and slideshows, listen to readings of local literature, watch archive film, hear personal accounts of city life, and read about Oxford's history and culture.
Councillor Colin Cook, Board Member for City Development, says: "It's really exciting to launch this landmark wayfinding system.
"Oxford has a remarkable wealth of attractions and Oxford Explore will provide visitors with the tools they need to navigate the city centre with ease and get the most out of the experience."
The project was initiated by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council in response to the need for modern, attractive signage that meets the needs of Oxford's visitors.
The signs have been designed to encourage exploration and help take the pressure off Oxford's main thoroughfares, such as Cornmarket Street, in the busy summer months.
Cllr Cook adds: "The new signs should help give visitors the confidence to take alternative routes through the city rather than using and re-using the same well-trodden paths.
"They"re distinctive but not obtrusive and will benefit all who live, work or play in the city centre."
There'll also be fewer signs up, 70, reducing street clutter.