French D-Day beaches get GPS tour guide

For the 65th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, an association of local towns in the American sector of the invasion (Sainte Mere l’Eglise, Utah Beach) commissioned a GPS tour guide to visit the beaches and the inland countryside to better understand the events which took place on June 6, 1944.

Created by the French GPS multimedia tour guide company Camineo, the whole project cost was €60,000, reported the local press. The tour is offered on a Windows Mobile PDA from Mio Technologies. The rental cost €8 and is available at the local tourism office.

Based on many unpublished visual documents from the US Army and the Caen Memorial (museum), the tour includes 30 minutes of videos and almost 500 pictures of the invasion, as well as a spoken text from French writer Gilles Perrault, well-known for writing several books on the Normandy invasion and World War II. The guide is available in English and French.

“Having a multimedia guide is particularly interesting because there are many steles in the local landscape with nothing left around to understand the context of the battle,” said Xavier Zimmermann, co-founder and sales director at Camineo.

This GPS-triggered guide offers a first layer of information made of a 3 minutes presentation for each of the places to be visited in the tour; then visitors can dive into more information, quizzes and a full encyclopedia of the Allied invasion of Normandy.

The guide encompasses 11 places scattered along a 50 km loop which starts inland in Sainte Mere l’Eglise. Camineo has been using Tele Atlas raster map data – which allows a zoom between the 1/50,000 to 1/5,000 scales – to guide visitors from one site to another.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *