Treasuremapper is tool that we created to help artists more easily create stories and other experiences in public space. The software, which is open source (and thus free) allows you to create “locative media” experiences on GPS-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones. Using GPS Treasuremapper makes it easy to show certain pictures or play certain audioclips on a mobile phone depending on where that phone is in real space. Treasuremapper makes it easy to design these experiences, since all you really have to do is draw your story on a map.

For example, you could create a detective story that requires someone to walk around town to discover clues. Taking a right turn instead of a left could have dire consequences in the story. Or you could create a romantic walk for valentines day in which you literally walk down memory lane. For an actual project built around Treasuremapper, have a look at Mind Your Step.

The project, which has users all over the world, has its own website, located at treasuremapper.netniet.org.

Usage
The tool has been used in many workshops and presentations that we’ve given. Treasuremapper also formed a core technology in the Locative Storytelling course at the Willem de Koning Art Academy in 2010 and 2011.

Development history
The first versions of Treasuremapper were developed out of a perceived lack of useful open software for these types of experiences during the Geotales workshops. While some projects existed, they often used expensive, and relatively rare devices. Even then, the software was never shared (we contacted a number of parties). We developed open software for use on abundant Nokia devices.

In 2011 we developed a new version that uses state of the art web technology. Because it uses web technology (it’s a so called WebApp) it can be used on any modern smartphone.