With her startup, Cultural Roadmapp, founder and president Deborah Schull ’78 plans to transform the traditional road trip into an authentic personal experience, using GPS to illuminate local culture and landmarks along the drive. The app — the first of its kind that is hands-free –provides context via interviews with experts, actors reading poetry and drama, humorous material, and performances by local musicians.
Cultural Roadmapp’s first project, “Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way,” details its namesake highway along a 1,500-mile stretch of Irish coastline from Cork to Donegal.
Schull, who lived in Dublin as a teenager, “fell in love with the culture. Since then I had always wanted to do a guidebook to Ireland through its music. The idea really evolved after the Wild Atlantic Highway opened, and I realized that an audio tour would be perfect for driving. You could enjoy the scenery while you listen along.”
Over the course of her career, Schull has worked as a writer and producer, an instructional designer, a marketing professional, an attorney, and a creator of audio tour material for national museums. Her work has won many professional honors, including the museum field’s prestigious MUSE Award and two Tellys.
“I’ve done a lot of different things in my life, and the interdisciplinary approach at HWS helped to prepare me for that,” says Schull, who majored in comparative literature, made Dean’s List and graduated cum laude.
With a number of notable partners with strong ties to Irish arts and culture committed to the project, the Cultural Roadmapp pilot app is scheduled to launch on St. Patrick’s Day of 2017. An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the project runs through Friday, July 15.
More information on the project, including samples of Schull’s pilot audio tour, can be found at CulturalRoadmapp.com.