The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) has announced their partnership with Guidekick, a start up company that creates pocket sized, mobile app guides. Their first San Francisco based project will be to create a guide to Golden Gate Park, which will include nearly 150 points of interest, The de Young Museum is included as well as the California Academy of Sciences, the Japanese Tea Garden and the San Francisco Botanical Garden.
The Guidekick app offers fully interactive 3D maps, music, ambient sound and comprehensive narrative for both off-site and on-site visitors. The app includes narrated pieces of the park’s history, documents, sketches and exclusive photos throughout Golden Gate Park. All information on the Golden Gate Park guide is researched, written and narrated by park historian and author Christopher Pollock.
“We are excited to be an early partner with this innovative and ambitious young company,” said Gary Castro, director of technology and innovation at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “We are thrilled that the de Young will be a key component of the launch of the Golden Gate Park app and are looking forward to collaborating with Guidekick on creative ways to enhance our visitors’ experience.”
“The de Young is a crown jewel of Golden Gate Park and the city of San Francisco. Its roots date back to the earliest of park history while continuing as the cultural heart for visitors today,” said Guidekick CEO Mark Paddon. “We are incredibly excited for museum visitors to be able to explore and learn about the park and de Young in a way that blends history and technology like never before.”
Comprehensive guides for Alcatraz, Hearst Castle, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Sutro Baths can also be found within the Guidekick app. The Golden Gate Park app will launch on iOS and be available for Android in 2015.
The founders of Guidekick, Josh Holland, Mark Paddon and Aaron Rivera, all Cal-Poly graduates, were inspired to create a pocket friendly guide by a visit to Manchu Picchu where all their preparations just weren’t enough. In 2013, they released their first mobile guide. “Hearst Castle” became the iTunes “best new app” list in the travel category, was number 12 among best new apps overall and in the top 10 in paid travel apps. “Hearst Castle” ran on Hearst Castle visitors’ personal phones — iPhone, Android, and Google Glass, and has become part of the permanent Travel Guides collection on the App Store. Partnering with the FAMSF and creating a guide to San Francisco’s varied destinations was a logical next step.
Guidekick’s goal is to recreate each era of existence for every historical location in the world and enable visitors to observe and interact with those environments while they’re on location. At the start of 2015, Guidekick will launch with five premier California locations: Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, Golden Gate Bridge, Sutro Baths, and Hearst Castle. Guides for San Francisco’s Union Square, Ferry Building, China Town and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are planned to be added soon after the initial launch.
The app is based around 3D geo-accurate maps of each location. If on-site, Guidekick will trigger content (historic images, narrated audio, music, video, etc.) in real time as a visitor approaches objects that interest them, but can also be fully explored if not on-site. The company previously launched a world-class mobile app called “
“Ideally, some form of Guidekick — whether it’s a mobile device or another device in the future — would exist at every historical location in the world,” founder Josh Holland said. “Every time you visit one of these locations, you’d know you’d be able to learn about it as deeply as you want. That would be the sort of ultimate vision we have for it.”
The company currently has offices in Berkeley, California. Guidekick is a member of 500 Startups, a top tier seed business accelerator and investment fund founded by Dave McClure. Before Guidekick the team owned a mobile app studio where they launched seven mobile titles with over one million combined downloads.