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Mobile App Driftscape Provides A Platform For Local Organizations To Share Site-Specific Stories, Tours And Events

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Below is our recent interview with Chloe Doesburg, CEO and Co-Founder of Driftscape:

Chloe Doesburg

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Driftscape?

A: The Driftscape mobile app helps you explore your city in a whole new way. Wherever you are, you’ll have diverse perspectives from local experts at your fingertips.

We provide a platform for local organizations to share site-specific cultural content so that users can see it all in one place.

For organizations that want to get their story out there, Driftscape is a powerful tool, available at a fraction of the cost of building your own app – with many additional benefits.

For travellers and curious locals, Driftscape is free, and it’s a fantastic way to explore what’s around you.

Imagine you’re in a new neighbourhood – you’d love to get out and explore, but you don’t know where to head. With Driftscape you can just start walking and be notified when you’re near something interesting. With numerous organizations contributing, the user can select their interests for a tailored experience.

When the user is presented with a story in the place where it is most relevant, they develop a deeper appreciation of both the story and the place.

It is our mission to amplify local voices and to serve the local cultural sector. We believe that creating a platform where diverse stories can be shared will inspire a greater understanding of the spaces we inhabit, and the people we share them with.

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Q: How did you get the idea for Driftscape?

A: I’ve always loved it when places I know are referenced in music, books or movies. I’ve always loved to explore and to discover hidden gems both at home, and when travelling. I was also inspired by a location-based storytelling project called murmur, which was done before smartphones. This project inspired some friends and I to create a project where we mapped songs that made reference to specific places in the city of Toronto. We were frankly surprised and overwhelmed by how much people loved the project, and by how many amazing songs were out there. This led us to want to create a way for people to seamlessly hear the songs in the places they were about – a location-aware mobile app was the obvious choice. We soon realized that there were countless other organizations who had already produced fantastic local content, but it was often hard to find. We thought: why not create a platform for all of these organizations to share? What about a platform that would give all of these organizations sophisticated tools to make use of their fantastic underutilized content and reach a broader audience? It would also save individual organizations from working in silos and reinventing the wheel. A shared platform would result in a greater impact, and much better user experience.

Q: Can you give us insights into your features? What can your app do?

A: The Driftscape platform consists of mobile apps for iOS and Android and a web Content Management System (CMS). From the customer’s perspective: they can instantly publish places of interest, events and tours to the app. All of their content appears on a uniquely branded layer just for them.

We also have a feature we call “Microregions”: this enables organizations to display certain content only to users who are physically in their immediate area. They can also send a customizable notification to users when they enter the area.

The app also supports “deep links” so that our customers can provide their audience with custom links that will download the app and display only their content, or open any specific feature within the app. These features combined make Driftscape a very powerful alternative to having your own app.

We can also provide very valuable analytics to our customers. In addition to telling them when and how many times their content was viewed, we can also tell our customers where their visitors are from, how far they travelled, and how long they stayed for. We do all of this without requiring the app end user to create an account or provide any personal data about themselves.

We are now testing the first versions of our Augmented Reality view, which will be an exciting new addition to the app!

We’re proud to say that we’re the only app that gives organizations all the benefits of having their own app, while also giving them the benefits of a shared platform.

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Q: How would you convince the reader to start using your app?

A: Driftscape is a fantastic way to learn about the places you visit and discover all sorts of hidden gems. If you’re interested in any aspect of the local cultural scene: history, architecture, music, events, literature, local businesses… the list goes on – Driftscape is a great app for you. It’s free, and we put the user in complete control over what you see. You can select what you’re interested in and get notified when there’s something nearby. There are some fantastic audio tours (that are also free!) and all sorts of unique local stories that you definitely won’t find anywhere else. We can guarantee that if you use Driftscape to explore the city, you’ll discover something you wouldn’t have found otherwise, and have a great story to tell.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: In addition to launching our Augmented Reality view in the next few months, we are also working hard to expand to new regions. While we currently have over 30 organizations using the platform, and over 2000 points of interest in Toronto, we’re ready to expand to other areas in Ontario and beyond. We’re focused on sales and marketing for 2019, and we’ll raise our next investment round in early 2020.

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