Word counts

The basics #

As you place markers, you’ll see your word limits appearing below the track titles. These match average walking speed and talking speed to the distance between two locations. You can also download a rich text file with a list of location titles and word counts. Just look for a blue button below the map on the Locations tab.

Two locations, with the talk times and word counts displayed below the titles.

Remember, the word limit only applies while the listener is walking. If you don’t have enough time to tell a story, simply ask them to stop, or suggest a place for them to sit down nearby. You’ve bought yourself time, but try to keep the script for every location below 750 words (5 minutes), because most people’s attention wanders if you speak for longer. If you don’t stop them, listeners might pass the next trigger area while other audio is still playing. If that happens, the next location’s audio won’t play.

Driving tours #

One of the main differences (and challenges) with creating a driving tour, compared to a walking tour, is that the speed of driving will usually change throughout the tour. The driving speed on a highway is obviously greater than navigating a quiet suburban neighbourhood. To address this, you’re able to enter the driving speed for each location individually in the Speed to Next Location box. This will then give you an accurate word count for that location. For example, a street leading to a highway onramp might be  set to 20 mph, but the subsequent location positioned on the highway would be set to 50 mph.

You should always set the average speed for a location to what the speed limit is for that particular stretch. You want to plan for when the road has no traffic and the listener is moving quickly through it, not for when it’s blocked up and the listener is crawling along, otherwise the listener will drive straight through a location without triggering it.

Cycling tours #

When creating your cycling tour, think about what kind of bike the listener might use. A tour created with a regular cyclist in mind won’t work for someone on an e-bike, because the average speed is faster, resulting in the travel time being quicker than the talk time. Speak to your editor if you’re unsure about what the best speed might be for your cycling tour.

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