TOURA PROJECT

WHAT IS TOURA?

TOURA is a mobile application for Android that helps you create a digital tour using just your smartphone. That’s why they call them smart, because they can do all this things:
- Record location and path
- Write text as name, description,
- Define the tour based on predefined choices
- Take pictures and videos
- Record audio
Toura can be: digital tourist guide, itinerary maker, trip planner, trip organizer, online and mobile travel guide, self-guided. Call it as you will, it can do all of that.



WHO ARE WE?

We are Alina and Alex, a team combo of marketing and development that started this project from our needs. We are living in Romania and we have our day job, just like everyone else. But we dream of something bigger, something to call our own.
We are working with developers and hope to grow our team on so many levels. If you want to join our team even as a contributor, you are more than welcomed - just drop us a line.
We travel a lot (but we would like to travel even more) and we like places that are not so crowded, but those are harder to find and get to. We like to travel independent and to manage our own trip in our rhythm. This project is our idea materialized as you see it. There are so many things that we want to do, but so little time to do it. We hope you like it and you find it useful and help us grow it.


HOW IS TOURA DIFFERENT FROM A TRAVEL BLOG?

Toura is similar in so many ways with a travel blog. First of all, it is personal and reflects the opinion, the choices and the preferences of the blogger. We think this subjective approach is very healthy, there is no such thing as a recipe for everyone. As you start follow a blogger you get to be inspired by their travel, by their experiences - we get to call this a match. You will probably take some of those trips and A travel blog will give you information about orientations, cost, laws, pictures. But from here on, Toura is a platform that allows you to provide much more information and create a visual representation of a trip. THe depth of the information is higher and it is saved on the spot.


HOW IS TOURA DIFFERENT FROM A TRAVEL GUIDE?

First of all a travel guide is most likely to be printed, while ours are online and mobile tours. Secondly they are created by an authority that includes the most popular places, mostly cities and historic places. We encourage to take if as far as your imaginations, take it to the mountains, take it to the sea. We encourage people to be personal with the tour and the experience, to go to places that are off the beaten path.
Travel guides are limited, as they are suppose to. For us the sky is the limit. Maybe not in a tour, but you can mix,combine, decide.



TOURS

WHAT IS A TOUR?

A TOUR is a collection of information and data that can help other users plan their vacation based on your experience.
A TOUR consists of the following information:
1. a TRACK - a list of locations shown on map as a line that represents the course of the CREATOR;
2. details of the TOUR: name, language, category and subcategory, difficulty, accessibility, keywords, description, when to visit;
3. a list of POIs: start, landmark, information, transport, accommodation, food and beverage, end of night and stop. These points have a specific location and details added by the CREATOR.
4. MULTIMEDIA materials: the tour and oll POIs can have multimedia materials: photo, video, audio, animation;
5. STATISTICS: based on the data the CREATOR collects with the mobile application and website, there are available the following information:
a. TOUR: cost (expenses while taking the tour), number of days, number of landmarks, minimum elevation, maximum elevation, elevation difference, total elevation uphill total distance, total duration, means of transport and statistics for each (distance, elevation uphill and duration);
b. Transport: distance, elevation uphill, duration;
c. Day: cost, total distance, total duration.


WHAT IS A GPX? HOW IS TOURA DIFFERENT FROM A GPX?

GPX is a standard file format designed as an XML that holds GPS data in a way that can be transferred between different applications. It contains waypoints, tracks and routes, basically it stores points with latitude and longitude, time and elevation in a standard format. We don’t use GPX files, but we use something similar we call TPX. For some time now people have been creating GPX files and sharing them for people to see the route, especially for off road route for bikes and 4×4. You need a GPX creator to make it and a GPX reader to see it.
Toura is more friendly for the CREATORS and USERS. It can store much more information and has specific data requirements like: landmarks, information points, transport change. Also the info and statistics are more detailed. You can also add multimedia files.


POINT OF INTEREST (POIS)

You can add points on the route in order to indicate there is something relevant in that place. Points can help you communicate information about that place.


START

The start point will appear as you start recording the TOUR. the points appears automatically. It has a green color. Here you should add information about the start (how to get here) and the transport you will use from there on


LANDMARK

When you press the plus (+) button a new point will be added on the TOUR. By default the point type will be LANDMARK. After you add a point, you can change it to other types. This is the most important information in the TOUR. It’s the reason people get out of bed. They are the focus on what people need to see. In order to understand what a TOUR has to offer, you look at this point types, they represent what you will see and do in your trip.They are for example:
- citadel
- museum
- lake
- mountain peak


INFORMATION

INFORMATION points are meant to give you warnings, orientations, advices in order to pass a situation in the best possible way.
The subtypes for INFORMATION type are:
- country border
- entrance
- local laws
- orientation
- payment points
- road
- safety notifications
- traffic


TRANSPORT

There type are used to mark when there is a change in the means of transport you were using until then. This is a very useful information because you tell people what transport to take, where to buy tickets, how much it should cost, what is the number of the vehicle, when to get off a specific bus or train. Also this information it is use to calculate the transport statistics. After creating and uploading a TOUR, there will be available statistics like: distance, duration and elevation for each mean of transport, so the user can have a profound understanding of the type of tour and how much time he or she will spend on each vehicle.
The subtypes are a growing list of means of transport like:
- walking
- bus
- car
- train
- plane
- bicycle


ACCOMODATION

This type of point indicates where the creator stopped for the night. It can be a city or even a specific hotel. It is useful to understand the distance for each day.
When choosing an accomodation type you can then choose where are you staying:
- hotel
- hostel
- bungalow
- camping


FOOD AND BEVERAGE

This will help people buy food and drink on their travel. Subtypes will be like:
- restaurant
- coffee shop
- bar


END OF DAY

This point can be added from the top bar. It is a different type of point. It helps us calculate the number of days of the TOUR. When you add this point, the TOUR will automatically pause to avoid location errors that will be generated from being inside. The next morning the TOUR should be restarted from the PLAY button. On this points there will be informations about the next day: for example what hour the user should get up if there is something time constraining, or a specific statistics about transport and spendings on the next day. Also it would be nice to make a short presentation of the day to come.


PLAY / PAUSE

This 2 buttons are complementary, you will see one or another, but never together. As you start a TOUR, you push the PLAY button, a START point will be added on the map and the PAUSE button will replace the PLAY one. When you need to stop recording you will push the PAUSE button and the tour will be paused, it will not record and you can not add points.
In order to resume the tour you need to push the PLAY button. Make sure you are in the same place you started your pause, otherwise the tour won’t start.
A temporary point will be added on the pause location. This point will disappear once you resume the tour.


STOP

This is the end of the tour. One you push the STOP button there is no way back. Automatically the STOP point will be added to the map.


FIELD WORK

A TOUR can be created only in the field, while taking a trip yourself. It can not be done at home in front of a computer. This is why a tour is so valuable, because it reflects specific aspects that are real like: distance, path, duration, speed, conditions.


CREATORS

WHO CAN CREATE TOURS?

Anyone who is a registered user (has an account) on TOURA platform (mobile or web), that has a phone with Android 4.4 or higher and travels - you can not create tours from the couch ;). We call this people CREATORS.


USER GENERATED CONTENT (UGC)

TOURA is a tools that helps user create TOURS. All the information on TOURA platforms is generated by users just like you. They reflect the decisions, preferences, personality and vision of the CREATOR. Each and every tour is unique. Some people like to see a lot of things, other prefer to relax, some prefer to travel on budget, other on the luxuris side. You need to find the one that suits you.


WHY SHOULD I CREATE A TOUR

You can share places, stories, things to try to people across space and time. People can reach places that otherwise would have avoided because they didn’t actually knew it existed, because of fear of unknown, because of dependencies to other people to take them there. People travel now further than any other time, but mostly they rely on local guides, on printed books, or online information they read from home or print to take with them.
It gives you a sense of accomplishment as you see a tour you just created combined with the feeling of deep understanding because each line, each point have a meaning for you. It holds a memory, an emotion.
We offer a new perspective over traveling, because people can travel and sustain their travels from the tours they create. We want this to be the new way of travel/living. You become the new explorers, the pathfinders of our times, the new Vasco da Gamas. You are curious, you go to places most people would not dare and you live a mark so that others can follow. You share your knowledge and passion with others. You also put everything in a new perspective, your. No more by the book, no more by the linear voiced guides that talk about the conventional touristic places. From our travels, at most at every 100 km there is something worth visiting. This is how nature and civilizations decided to spread their legacy. People can find it and integrated. And more, they can be enthusiasts about them, they can be personal and they can be natural. And this changes the experience, it’s human to human interaction with the means of an application.


STORYTELLERS

People who know the stories should come out and share them with the world. From historians and archaeologists to musicians and romantics, they all know something. Toura it’s your new voice, it’s a platform that enables you to guide, inspire, help, orientate, perform, know, discover. It add layers of information to reality.


TRAVEL BLOGGERS

We love travel bloggers. They do their best in sharing their experiences for others.


WHAT SHOULD MY TRAVEL BE ABOUT?

They should be about you. It should reflect your personality. It should be about what you like. If you like the beach, very well, go get it. If you are more a mountain person, start making mountain tours. There are people in this world that will appreciate your travel style and “follow” you in your trips


SAFETY

The reason we created Toura was to optimize holiday plans, help people prepare and save money, time and energy on research. We want to help people travel better, more, faster, cheaper, so safety is one of our main concerns. That is way we have special points in which the CREATOR can indicate safety and orientation measures that should help the USER while taking a TOUR. In the INFORMATION point type (which was first call WARNINGS) you can find subtypes like:
- safety notifications
- road (road type and conditions)
- orientation
- local laws
- country border
While taking a tour you have the guarantee that someone was there before on the same route, and you have information like distance, time and any other information the CREATOR considered necessary. But always keep in mind that some conditions may very from the time the CREATOR made the TOUR until you are taking it. Some of this conditions are:
Localisation errors
The route may have location errors. You should evaluate the situation on the site and take the best decision for you.
Weather
Conditions like rain, snow, storm, powerful sun, fog or any other weather condition can affect the TOUR in so many ways. Evaluate the conditions as you go along and make the best decision for your safety.
Changed roads and access
Some of the roads, paths, directions could have changed from the moment they were created due to: development of infrastructure, natural hazards, maintenance work, change of local laws. Especially while driving, but also while using other means of transport you have to respect the laws in force.


TRAVELING WITH TOURA

New countries, new continents, new languages will not be so scary anymore. You will have your self-sufficient guide with all the information you need in a language you understand, with a path stretched at your feet, with all the warnings you need to make it to the end safely.


WHAT IS FREEDOM FOR US? FREEDOM TO TRAVEL?

We decided to do this in order to give the traveler a new independence, a freedom from guides, books, internet, schedules. With Tooora you take your favorite tour offline and put it to work. You choose your tour based on objectives, proximity, personal affinity with the tour creator, language, difficulty, duration, distance, and so many other criterias. And it still gets to be whimsical and feeric. Walls get more meaning than a pile of rocks, paths become inspiring, streets whisper legends. All this when you wanted.


SECRET PLACES?

At the time people gather in the touristic places, creating crowds and lines, with expensive demand (food, accommodation, transport), with pickpocketing and crime, generating only poor travel experience. There are so many other great spots people should devote their time and resources to visit, not just the ones on the checklist.
We hope our app will be a tool to grow the new travel generation, with new habits, with independence and more confidence, with new layers information, with time and money saving, with safety and with the touch of a human being.
We hope those special places will be discovered and put on a map.


WHAT BUDGET SHOULD I HAVE FOR TRAVELING?

Each of us have different budgets and different expectation from a trip. Some want a luxurious experience, other prefer the backpacking experience in order to see the most with the least amount of money. Whichever do you prefer, there are people that will understand your choices and take your tours. To make it easier, we have information about the costs of a tour in which the CREATOR will include his spendings and you will have this information in order to know what to expect.