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Project: A self-directed undergraduate thesis project at Emily Carr University.

Timeline: Fall 2012 – Spring 2013, 8 Months

Approach: The first four months of this project were spent researching online user-generated content, specifically its implications for travel decisions, as well as how locals and tourists view and navigate Vancouver. The latter half of the project was focused on design. By applying what is successful about user-generated content, I created a website that improves upon Vancouver’s existing cultural experience for both travellers and locals.

Discover Vancouver is a user-generated photo-bank that allows locals and tourists to discover Vancouver through visually stimulating images. As you interact with the site, you are able to create a profile, allowing you to like, comment on, and repost photos onto the site, as well as upload and share your own content. The photos are geo-tagged in order to help others discover the city. Through geo-tagging, users can be linked to other photos of that location, written reviews, or be linked to that location’s website (if applicable). Users also have the option to follow (and be followed) by other users with similar interests. However, you do not need to have a profile to view the site. For example, a tourist to the city could visit the site and view any of the publicly available content.

The website and mobile app of Discover Vancouver offers a new and engaging experience that does not yet exist within Vancouver. By applying a photo-based platform of user-generated content, I believe that I have created a relevant and reliable source of information about Vancouver for both locals and tourists. With this concept, tourists can visit the site and easily organize their searches and navigate the city. Furthermore, locals are able to use the site to help them discover, or rediscover, their hometown.

To view the entire process of this project, click here.