OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Mp3-tourism (audio story library)

Crowdsource "audio books" in a library for enhanced reality! Volunteers upload their stories/soundscapes. Geo-tag the starting point of each story to GPS-coordinates. Listeners download the Mp3 at home, travel to the starting point and press play!

Photo of Johan Löfström
47 19

Written by

Whenever we travel — daily commute or a vacation trip to a far away city — we bring our phone and some other things, like book, travel guide or magazine. Maybe even our Mp3-player or laptop.

Online Mp3 sound library, for all people to listen to when they are out and about in Singapore. It is meant as a combination of: incentive for citizens to document, share their discoveries about their home town to others. Influencing citizens getting more exercise; walking around, experiencing and enjoying the scenic routes.

Enabling sharing of all types of stories/guides/narratives/activities and letting others discover the local heritage. Increase local tourism, increasing local peoples desire to stay at home during vacations to rediscover their city.


MP3-library online Let citizens create, record, upload, download & "borrow" like Audio Books from a public library. (web based forum and/or App)

GPS-tagging with exact geographic locations and directions on how to walk/bike/follow the story in the actual city locations. (see more info about Geo-caching) If there are spoken instructions in the Mp3-file; for instance: jump onto the bus number 88, the listener should choose to do so, similar to when "Alice in the wonderland" crawled into a rabbit hole, and = experience the customized ride.

Equipment: any portable device that the users already own, that they can download Mp3-files to, from the internet — and bring with them into the streets and parks.

all sorts of narrated stories, sounds, background noise/field recordings, spoken word, informational (historic or architectural or botanical/zoologic) descriptions of a geographical location, or any route.

Meant for any mode of transport, from just sitting on a hillside or bench in a park watching the view — to walking around, biking, taking a bus or a train.
And learn as you listen and go along in the stories you can choose from to enjoy.

Web page or App with the library and functionality.
Upload instructions, so that users will be able to create their own stories and geo-tag them in a simple way.

Catalogue, Categorize and browsable in different ways:
1. Geographical (coordinates on a map)

2. Chronological (historic timeline)

3. Chronological (calendar for stories adapted for christmas, midnight, early morning, rainy days etc)

4. Dewey Decimal system (just like library shelves, topics, themes, fictional, educational, current events, historical, local celebrities, nature observations, Documentations of events, descriptions of a building, region…)

5. adapted to different user groups (age appropriate, bicyclists, bus riders…)

6. literary narratives or biographies about literature/movies that take place in those locations

7. Other ways to search/browse/find … ?


Crowdsourced content creation:

People would spontaneously record their stories and trips and guides. There will be lots of creative volunteers that come up with their own individual ideas on how to create unique material, see the videos above. Potential for users to innovate new use around Mp3-s with Geotagging/calendar/wikipedia-connections.

Users can share and vote/recommend any Mp3 in the library (Connect with existing social forums, such as facebook, Google+…)

Enabling of "Social games", performances, collaborative activities "flashmobs"
Authors could write historical narratives & literary storylines that activate the listener into walking or bicycling between different locations.

Real time documentaries or fictional stories that take place at certain times of the year, perhaps horror stories at night?

Environmental reportages; how the environment needs a cleanup or describe how the neighbourhood are cleaner since yesteryear.

Listeners will be able to "experience" the stories and learn, as the narrator and characters make progress through the environment.


This concept should be only a flexible frame work, that allow participants and content creators to use in any way that they can imagine! Construct the framework/infrastructure with flexibility (or "piggy-back" on existing audio-file and sharing technology like,,,, or

More info: improv everywhere See also my earlier description, that could include even more details about "flashmobs" And see also Pedros concept of Flashmobs


Revenue models:

I have lots of different ideas to create income and make this a self sustained project. I will only mention a few of them here:

"Freemium" versions: A new user gets a couple of hours free downloads. (or a couple of hours free per week/month)

Price tag on each mp3 could be set by the creator, if they wish to share it for free or to earn profit from it.

Subscription services could be implemented, Users that pay a monthly fee could download up to X hours per month.

Automatic subscriptions of one of the most downloaded or most "Liked" story once a week could be delivered automatically to your email-box for a monthly fee. (if you receive one story that you already had listened to, you could exchange it for another one from the archive)

Content creators can get limited space to upload their files to, and when reaching a limit they are asked for a fee (or donation) to continue to upload more.

Price level that are proportionally relative in size to the distance that the customer is from the starting GPS-point. Singaporeans would get it nearly for free, while tourists from abroad, that pre-download sound files at their home before they fly to Singapore, will be charged a higher price, and asked for higher donations to local charities.

Donation models:

Purchase and pay for a Mp3, you could be allowed to send one free copy of it to one of their friends = buy 2, pay for 1.

Content creators could set a percentage to donate to charities. They could set any %percentage on the cost for the sound file, that is suggestion for the listener to donate, and to which charity they should choose.

In the end of each sound file, the content creator could include a read message/statement that influences the listener to donate to a charity, or to pay a symbolic sum, that lets them send the same MP3 to one of their friends. "Paying it forward" or "Café sospeso"-system.

Subscribers could earn credits/tokens when they recommend and share sound files on their facebook page, they could use these credits as discount on purchase of more stories. or as tokens to send to their friends as birthday gifts.


Potential addons and features (only mention a few examples):

Connections to wikipedia? to make it possible to read more about famous people that was born or resides at the actual sites.

Organize regularly frequently scheduled open workshops to influence citizens to create new content. (collaborate with sound studios, schools for performing arts, arhitecture/design schools?)

Customize content for visually impaired people or disabled?

"Product Placement" becomes "Geo-location placement"

Content creators could include "paid product placement" from commercial restaurants/shops/companies by including those spots in the narrative about fictional characters, but should also choose to do equally amount of minutes on some sort of "socially responsible product placement" in their narratives, local shops, street vendors, food hawkers, "Mom&Pop-stores". More info, see this concept:"Amazing Singaporeans"

Commercial companies could choose to donate money through this concept, and "order" production of custom sound files by volunteers on this forum, if the company wish to "buy" some sort of customized background sounds in their restaurant or shop. or for their TV or radio adverts.

How does your concept inspire collaboration between individuals, private sector organisations, and the government in an effort to create cleaner neighbourhoods?

Sharing stories from citizen to citizen, documenting & saving the heritage or creating new heritage. Creating awareness for local environmental and socially responsible projects… while you walk and discover, or re-discover that area :) Combining Sight, Sound, Smell... several Senses, Emotions, Activities, Actions, Responses Influencing a bit more vacationing in their own city/country. "Stay-cation". Perhaps creating a bit more socially responsable and environementally responsible tourism to Singapore.

How might your concept be scaled in a way that creates even more connections between people?

I have lots of possibilities; hold series of different themed workshops with volunteers, culture workers such as theatre, acting schools, script writers, voice coaches… (have classes online or at sound studios) Open Competitions to aid creation of innovative content and collaborations between many different people from different career paths. (perhaps initiate a mentoring program within this concepts framework?)

How might you design a small experiment around your concept that would mobilise action?

trying out Ushahidi Crowdmap, that is little bit similar to this concept. But haven't found any technology that combine downloadable mp3-s with the functions that I describe above.

Evaluation results

7 evaluations so far

1. How easy would it be for citizens to get involved and take initiative for this idea?

Very easy; this would rely on ground-up participation from the beginning. - 14.3%

Somewhat easy; there are ways for citizens to get involved, but an outside organiser may be needed to sustain and grow this concept. - 57.1%

This concept needs to be led and maintained by the government or private business. - 28.6%

2. Can you build this concept on top of something that already exists, like an organisation, physical space, or system?

Yes. This could fold into, or extend from, something that already exists. - 42.9%

This concept taps existing networks for a few things, but also needs a lot of new processes, materials, relationships, etc. - 57.1%

This concept requires a new system to be built to support it. - 0%

3. After the initial launch and support, could this concept be sustained and cared for over time by the community it's designed to serve?

Absolutely! This concept is easy to keep going. - 14.3%

It depends. There are opportunities for growth, but it's not yet clear how the concept would thrive after launch. - 71.4%

Probably not. A lot of effort would be needed to keep this concept going. - 14.3%

4. Does this concept create community?

Yes. It naturally brings people together and inspires them to take care of one another. - 14.3%

There is potential to create a thriving community. - 57.1%

No. It doesn't galvanize people to come together for a common cause or interest. - 28.6%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world. - 28.6%

I liked it but preferred others. - 28.6%

It didn't get me overly excited. - 42.9%

View more

Inspired by (53)

House of Culture in Southern Brazil
Art & Involvement
Using art, architecture and culture to fight off crime
Pop-Up Public Space: DeKalb Market
Art as catalyst to kick-start friendships between neighbours
Children Saying I Can
Collective Action and self governance for making local environments better
The Sidewalk Gallery Cafe: social entrepreneurship in Singapore
Slí na Sláinte — Path of health
Public spaces run and owned by the local community
Neighbourhood Walking
Install public art to create community, sense of place
Oxygenator - going from art project to community support.
Tidy Street: Changing Neighbors' Behaviors through Voluntary Monitoring and Public Infographics
Hello Stranger!
Collective Roots
Improv Everywhere — collaborative performances
Greening the Rubble and Filling the Gaps
Smart Neighbors
Building Community Through Diversity and Music
East Asian Communal Exercise
Reminding ourselves the beauty of Singapore
Connecting people on public transport
Public Spaces
Crowdsource Advertising
Many interestings things are all around us, just we need to take out little time and observe them!!!
Open Mic Night
Local Walkabouts
Re-think, Re-use, Re-cycling the city
Adopt a lane/park - Gamify the Citizenship
The Fun Theory
Beautify public-walls w/ murals & art around the culture of Singapore
Pasar Malam reinvented UPDATED 13/12
Demonstrate public collective transports benefits [updated nov29th]
Bookshelf for the community
Eco Market
{SG:niter} Web-platform  for Community Development Projects (Volunteer & Fund) #UPDATED
Neighbourhood Art
Become your role model!
Give Modernization – Take Social Bonding and create SingaVille!
Very Local News
Singapore Stories
The Meeting (The Amazing Singaporeans) [UPDATED]
The pop-up museums of Singapore's communities
Flash Mobs for Social Good [UPDATED]
Public Exposure! - Helping locals to fall in ❤ with public spaces again
SgNal - an app to involve Singaporeans
Local SGstarter for integrating the community in future projects
Windows to the World


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


First of all let me applaud the idea. People typically learn via 3 methods, reading, listening via audio and learning thru watching tv or videos. I am one who learns much faster listening.

It's virtually not possible to travel all countries as you probably need a few million dollars to do that. Some countries are also not that safe to travel to. Most important what we lack is time. You probably need to spend 3-5 years to travel all countries thoroughly.

The crucial thing you need is to have somebody that has a really good voice. One that has the ability to draw you into that scenery. Someone in the image of Robin Williams would be a great fit.

Edmund Ng

View all comments