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  1. Default Problem: I want to learn more about the places I'm driving through in real time?

    Hi Everyone,

    This is something I'm think about a lot, but can't find any way of listening to radio programs that allows me to do this.

    For example, I was looking through the window while driving through Yosemite the other day, and was hoping to hear stories about the park and its nature environment but didn't know where to look to find out more about it.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience, or could let me know of anything that exists to solve this problem.

    Many thanks,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Sources other than the radio.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Occasionally one comes to places where on the AM band local information is available. This is becoming less and less the case. However, when it comes to National Parks, there is quite a volume of information handed out at the entrance gate. It pays to find a place to pull over and park, maybe make a cuppa and read through it all. Of course the rangers are always willing to share whatever they know to satisfy your desire for information.

    I have also found the occasional place where they hand out tapes or CDs to play as you drive alone. But they are rare indeed.

    Besides that research prior to the trip would be your best source.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Roadster II is part of the solution -- it's what we use on the road

    I had planned to create an audio guide to I-15 between Devore and Las Vegas for exactly this reason. There is a tremendous amount of local history and lore than only a handful of people know located within 5-15 minutes of this highway -- and most people would never actually get off the highway to see if -- even if they knew about it -- but I bet lots of people would like to "know" about it.

    There are some audio guides that have been produced for the Revolutionary War and Civil War battlegrounds and a handful of similar products for other parks around the country. The problem is.... it is technologically challenging to create such a product that will run on the scores of mobile devices that people have.

    Audio books that play through car speakers comes the closest. Here is the device we use in our road trip car for this purpose. (Obviously in National Parks -- you can't rely on radio transmissions, or wireless connections -- so you have to have a product that you can download to your device and then play it through a speaker system -- like your car radio.

    Once you have this device -- then you have to look for the those audio books or audio files that will deliver the content you want.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Real Time is REALLY fraught with challenges!

    The Real Time -- aspect is much more challenging. Again, I had figured out a way to use repeaters coordinated with vehicle GPS devices to load the appropriate audio clips at the right spot --- But, this is incredibly expensive to provide. I could never make the economics work in our favor.

    No doubt some enterprising business owner will eventually figure this out -- but it makes something as relatively complicated like the RTA Maps program (back-end processing) look like child's play.

    There are probably a dozen or so serious programmers who have worked on creating such a system for use in national parks over the last 5-6 years -- but the economics and the scalability and keeping everything updated in a timely fashion prices the equipment outside any rationale discussion.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Much more than I thought!

    Here are some of those resources...

    Civil War Battlefields Podcasts

    NPS -- Grand Canyon -- Cell phone tours

    Here is a company that has created audio tours for six national parks!

    A GPS-triggered tour of Grand Tetons and Yellowstone

    Actually, when you start looking -- Wow, there are a number of products!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    When we were at Johnson Space Center, Houston, this past summer, there were QR codes all over the place. You could use your QRCode Reader app and listen to more information. Or, you could rent a device similar to an iPod, press numbers shown on the information panel, and listen to extra information. We used something similar to this device, at Ellis Island in NY, two years before that.

    We have found that most of the more popular national parks have audio tours for purchase available on CD. It's rare that they have them on cassette tape any more.

    More info: For those vehicles that still have cassette players (like our pickup), you can purchase a device (probably more likely online or at the bigger electronic stores than at discount dept stores)adapter that will allow you to play other things. It's old technology, but there is a cassette with a wire and a headphone jack that can be hooked into a CD Walkman player, iPod/mp3 player, iPhone/smartphone or iPad/tablet. When our old adapter broke, I bought one at Big Lots for a couple of dollars.

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 11-09-2014 at 10:37 AM.

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