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Welsh digital storytelling app to feature at San Francisco Expo

Traces, a bilingual digital storytelling app that takes you on a journey around St Fagans National Museum of History will be presented at a Digital Heritage expo in San Francisco.

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Alison John and Dr Jenny Kidd will be delivering their project to the Digital Heritage expo ‘New Realities: Authenticity & Automation in the Digital Age’ at the 3rd International Congress and Expo in San Francisco between October 26 – 30. Digital Heritage is the leading global event on digital technology for documenting, conserving and sharing heritage.

Traces (Olion in the Welsh language) began in 2016 when funding was gained from the ESRC for a collaboration between Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, yello brick and Cardiff University.


Traces is a cross between an immersive storytelling experience, meditation app and mobile game. It uses audio to guide visitors on a journey around the open air museum by using stories curated from archives, present day and fictional content.

Visitors who want to take part in Traces need to download a free app (iphone and android) before they visit the site, bring headphones on the day and can choose to go on a solo or partner journey. Participants are taken to different paths through the experience; it separates them and reunites them multiple times in playful ways.

So far over 1000 people have downloaded the app and completed Traces and reviews include: “‘At points I felt happy, I felt sad and self-reflective but again, going back to the stones, I was like a kid again, and that kind of really innocent jumping on cracks, I didn’t care what anyone was thinking, so that was a fun side of it as well. It was an array of emotions’

Traces has already been presented in Norway, Denmark and UK (London, Aberystwyth, Newcastle, Salford, Telford and Liverpool).

Alison John, Producer at yello brick said:

‘’Traces has been a fantastic project to work on and a great opportunity to find new ways to engage audiences with heritage sites and connect them to the space in a more emotional way through storytelling and playful interactions”.

Dr. Jenny Kidd, Senior Lecturer, School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Cardiff University said:

“Traces has allowed us to explore a number of important questions relating to digital heritage: what can immersive heritage do, and what can’t it do? What happens when truth and fiction collide in digital heritage work?

“How do visitors respond when invited to do things differently? We look forward to presenting findings from participant research on these timely themes”.