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Smart(Phone) Guide to Taos

GPS-enabled app guide to Taos historic district combines video, audio, and historic content for a fully immersive experience

By Janet Webb and Zara Bell—March 7, 2016
(Updated January 7, 2017)

iPad2-Mockup-walkTAOS copyWalkTAOS, the app, is downloadable for $0.99 on Android devices, iPhones and iPads. This economical guide to the historic sites of downtown Taos (and four outlying neighborhoods in Taos County) was published by MarkeTaos last year. It was the last digital project my company, Webb Design Inc, completed before closing its doors to allow me to retire. Semi-retire.

The WalkTAOS for iPhone project (and for iPad) was a full-circle sort of experience for me. Immersing myself in the stories of people who came and went long before I opened Webb Design in 1982 gave me a priceless perspective on this community. And it became a family endeavor: my daughter, Zara Bell, wrote the script and son, Oliver Bell, edited the 33 video clips included on the app. Full credits follow.

Janet Webb

PS: See links, way below, to other app guides about Taos and northern New Mexico.


Watch the WalkTAOS Intro Video
(followed by the other 32 videos)

0 Intro from Ollie Bell on Vimeo.


The WalkTAOS app illustrates that it’s the people of Taos who have shaped the character of Taos today. The evidence is clearly seen when walking the streets of Taos historic district.

From top left: Artist RC Gorman, soldiers of the Bataan Death March, Nicholai Fechin, Mabel Dodge Luhan and Tony Luhan

From top left: Artist RC Gorman; soldiers of the Bataan Death March; artist Nicholai Fechin; art patron and visionary Mabel Dodge Luhan and Tony Luhan


Because Taos is an art colony, we represented each neighborhood with a painting, followed by current and historic photography.

From top left: Kit Carson home by Walter Ufer, Bent Street by Clarence Hinkle, Taos Pueblo by Albert Looking Elk, Ranchos Church by Ernest Blumenschein, North Pueblo Road by Alan Heuer, Taos Ski Valley by Inger Jirby.

From top left: Kit Carson home by Walter Ufer; Bent Street by Clarence Hinkle; Taos Pueblo by Albert Looking Elk; Ranchos Church by Ernest Blumenschein; North Pueblo Road by Alan Heuer; Taos Ski Valley by Inger Jirby.

Zara Bell’s thoughts on the process of writing the WalkTAOS script.

Greetings from way beyond Taos—from Savannah, GA.

I remember a poster on the wall of Mrs. Jenkins’ Humanities classroom at Taos High School: a picture of planet Earth taken from space and a line from T.S. Eliot’s poem, Little Giddings:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

I thought about that quote as I wrote the WalkTAOS text, much of it from Savannah.

I discovered new things about the place I know as a part of me. The landscape of Taos, the great expanse of sky and mountain, the clean, dry air and four seasons are in my bones. I remember dirt roads, adobe walls and latilla ceilings so vividly I could reach out and touch them. It was not hard to conjure, sitting in my Savannah home, images of the paths app-users will take as they walk from one site to another, but I was surprised at how much of the story of Taos I hadn’t known.

I don’t remember giving much thought to the notion that the history of Taos, tri-cultural Taos, is not one story, but a convergence of stories. There truly are many, and though the app tour only scratches the surface of Taos’s rich history I hope it inspires visitors to dig a little deeper–and to return.

Taos is a place for seekers and explorers, whether of internal or external landscapes, whether in pursuit of adventure or survival. Many artists come because the light in Taos is extraordinarily beautiful. Many native Taoseños return because they miss that light—both the kind that comes from the sun and the kind that comes from other Taoseños—and I suspect this is my fate. The only constant is change, and all things will be well, all manner of things will be well.

Zara Bell


WalkTAOS app credits:
Published by MARKETAOS, formerly known as Taos County Lodgers Association, a public/private initiative to promote visitation to Taos. Content developed by Webb Design, Inc, of Taos. Funding for the production has been supplied by grants from New Mexico Tourism Department, Taos County Lodgers Tax Fund, and with support from private businesses and the Town of Taos.

The production team:
Karina Armijo, design
Ollie Bell, video and editing
Zara Bell, script
Burrell Brenneman, map
Ted Dimond, narration
Paul Figueroa, research
Janet Webb, management
New Wave Industries, programming

Download the app for Apple. Download the app for Android.
Use it at home to learn about Taos before you visit, or let it be your guide as you walk the streets of Taos.

Print a copy of the 16-page Walk Historic Taos guide that spawned the app.

The WalkTAOS app uses your device's native map to track your position within Taos Historic District.

WalkTAOS uses your device’s native map and GPS to track your position within the historic district.

MORE APPS

Cultural Atlas of New Mexico, a project of NM Department of Cultural Affairs. You’ll find seven sites about Taos – with more sites coming soon.

Visit Taos is an app that features information on things to do and places to stay in Taos. It’s published by the Town of Taos.

Taos Ski Valley travel and ski app is published Egate IT Solutions.

 

 

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