Movie Maps: Promoting Film-Tourism through the Development of Mobile, Digital Mapping Tools

TitleMovie Maps: Promoting Film-Tourism through the Development of Mobile, Digital Mapping Tools
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Leotta, A.
Affiliation (1st Author)Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Section or WGVisual Culture Working Group
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeVISW2a
Slot Code (Keyword)VISW2a
Time of Session11:00-12:30
RoomHelix - The Gallery
Session TitleTechnological development and Visual culture
Submission ID4837

This paper examines smart phone applications that match geo-data of film locations with visual and textual information about the relevant screen productions. In particular, it assesses how these mobile and digital movie maps can be used to promote film-induced tourism by allowing users to locate and visit film-locations. Recently there has been a widespread recognition of the economic and cultural potential of film-induced tourism, which can defined as tourist visitation to sites where movies and TV shows have been shot. The various functionalities of film-location phone apps seem to cater particularly for the needs of film-tourists. The first film-location app, Scene Seekers, was released in 2009. The original version of Scene Seekers was only able to match the title of the film with the GPS map of the locations. Gradually other digital movie maps introduced a number of other functionalities such as the possibility to access background information about both the film and the locations, location photos, film stills and so on. Tourism stakeholders are progressively investing more resources in the development of such applications that are becoming a key (and yet unexplored) aspect of film-induced tourism. This paper represents the first attempt to study such a new phenomenon. The development and introduction of digital movie maps will be likely to have a an impact on the growth of film-tourism, particularly in countries like Britain and New Zealand that have invested in the promotion of film locations as potential tourist destinations. Furthermore, the analysis of the relationship between mobile media, film and film locations will contribute to theoretical debates about media convergence. Finally, from a film studies perspective, it is also necessary to assess how the convergence between film and mobile screens exemplified by the development of smart phone movie maps, will contribute to redefine the notion of film spectatorship and in particular the relationship between viewers and film space.

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