Whether it’s focused on history, public murals, or another topic, you can create your own walking or biking tour in your neighborhood. Help people explore and learn about your neighborhood and what’s important to you.
Creating a tour consists of five general steps:
- Decide where and what the tour is going to be about. Murals in Fruitvale? History in Chinatown? A mix of things? It’s up to you.
- Figure out what stops might be on the tour.
- Create a page for each stop, including the location.
- Create a tour by making a list of the stops in order.
- Test your tour, then publish it on the website.
Steps 1 and 2 are up to you. For steps 3, 4, and 5, this website has tools to help you, so these pages will cover them in a bit more depth. It’s all based on WordPress, so familiarity with using WordPress to edit pages is a plus, but not required.
Pick a topic
The sky is the limit for topics. With Oakland Urban Paths, we’ve done walks focused on history, murals, geology, cemeteries and death, transit, specific neighborhoods, … you get the idea. The main thing that ties them together is geographic proximity—you can walk from one stop to another to another in a reasonable amount of time. What topic you connect them with is up to you.
At this point it’s also worth thinking some about the format of the tour. Will it include text, images, audio, video? Will it be all audio? Not every stop needs to have everything, but it helps to have some consistency, for example, every stop has at least a main image.
Finally, remember that your tour is just one narrative. Your story about a place is going to be different than other people’s narratives about the same place. You can use existing stops created by others, but you don’t have to if they don’t fit with your narrative. You can create your own stop for a location and tell your story your way.
Make a list of possible stops
The next step is to make a list of possible stops. Some things to think about include: is there something to see, or hear, or do, or learn about at the stop? does the stop fit with your general topic?
You’ll probably want to do a little research at this point. If the stop is a mural, is it still there and visible? If it’s a historic building, is it still standing?
You might have a very specific set of stops in mind, but maybe not. Given a general area and a topic, you might find it helpful to make a rough map of possible stops, but just a list will do. At this point, it’s more of a wish list—the list will
probably shrink and grow over time as you learn more.