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You can tour Bishop Hill from your chair
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You can tour Bishop Hill from your chair

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The Bishop Hill Heritage Association recently launched a multimedia tour of the entire town.

“It is designed as a self-guided walking tour,” project manager Brian "Fox" Ellis said, “but it can also be accessed from any device anywhere in the world, so anyone can enjoy a virtual tour of our historic village from the comfort of their living room.”

Built using the free app TheClio.com, the tour includes historic and modern photos, brief historic text, a text-to-voice audio app and filmed narration.

The tour begins at the south end of town, at the Bishop Hill Museum, and then leads visitors on a walking tour meandering through the entire village. Focusing on the Colony period with interludes of recent history, the tour weaves stories of the town's founding with more current affairs.

It also includes traditional Swedish music intertwined with humor and insight.

“In the Colony period this town was the economic engine of Henry County with a mill, forge, hospital and hotel," Ellis said. The colonists "were early investors in agricultural technology, so it is within that tradition that we are a regional leader in developing this easy-to-use cutting-edge tour of the historic sites.

"I find it pleasantly ironic that we are an historic village with a high-speed fiber optic connection to the world!”

The Clio app uses a phone’s GPS coordinates to recognize where a person is standing, then shows the information about that specific historic site. With the walking tour app, a simple map gives directions on where to go next.

Clio was originally designed to be a multimedia platform, but most sites simply use photos and text. Bishop Hill is pushing the envelope by adding a series of YouTube videos so a personal narrator can be carried in your pocket.

Here is the link: https://www.theclio.com/entry/95114/tour

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