During the 2013/2014 Rotary Year, the ORBRC Board of Directors decided that the club could afford to present a “gift” of some kind to the Oak Ridge community, something prominent that would reflect nicely on Rotary and on the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club. The idea was presented to the membership and a call for suggestions was issued. Some twenty ideas were received and reviewed extensively by an ad hoc Signature Project Selection Committee. After considerable discussion, the Committee selected and the membership approved a mobile "app," later named “Explore Oak Ridge®,” as the winning candidate. It has become one of the club’s major projects.
The central component of “Explore Oak Ridge®” is a software application (an “app”) that runs on a mobile phone or a computer and provides the user with a wide variety of information about Oak Ridge. It links to business, medical, civic, recreational, and historical websites. It will have audio, photo, and video components that will inform and guide users to well known or to little known attractions in Oak Ridge. Among these are restaurants, shops, lodgings, parks, playgrounds, trails, museums, and recreation and historic sites. In essence, it will be a ‘tour in a pocket” for visitors and residents alike. Iconic signs will be placed at various sites, providing QR codes that enable access to the full app and that will identify ORBRC as a major contributor to the project.
|Emily and Charlie Jernigan are the drivers for the Explore Oak Ridge App|
Another important component of "Explore Oak Ridge®" is collaboration with numerous businesses and organizations in Oak Ridge. The following organizations were focal points for the initial version of Explore Oak Ridge: the American Museum of Science and Energy, the City of Oak Ridge, the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Merchants of Jackson Square, and the Oak Ridge Rowing Association. Subsequent versons will include information about the Children's Museum, the Commemorative Walk, historic neighborhoods and facilities, the Manhattan Project National Park; an events calendar; and various outdoor recreation locations such as the UT Arboretum, Haw Ridge Park, walking trails, golf courses, and ball fields. The name and logo of Explore Oak Ridge have been trademarked.
"Explore Oak Ridge®" is a major undertaking funded and created by the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club as a gift to the community. It is intended to enhance the Secret City Experience.
|ORBRC Members Evaluating Explore Oak Ridge®|
Explore Oak Ridge® App is Evolving
The beta version of the Explore Oak Ridge® app went public on June 12, 2015, for testing and evaluation purposes. That version contained preliminary content, such as lists of venues, maps, and information about additional sites. Sites of interest to visitors, including restaurants and recreational and educational opportunities, have been added to the original design. A new version of the app is being developed to reflect the general layout of the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) website and to include more attractive menus and additional historic support. This will allow users to transition easily between the CVB website and the ExploreOakRidge app. We continue to expand, update, and improve this app. We welcome comments and suggestions. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Explore Oak Ridge Logo® Licensed to Convention and Visitors Bureau
Early in 2015 the CVB, headed by ORBRC member Marc DeRose, approached the club about using the Explore Oak Ridge® name and logo for a new marketing campaign for the city. After consultation with an attorney, the Signature Project Committee decided to license the name and logo to CVB, to be used to promote Oak Ridge. The committee felt that partnering with the CVB will significatntly enhance the club's efforts to help people learn about our city. It also allowed CVB to proceed with its marketing campaign. The CVB will reference our app as a way to explore Oak Rdge, useful to both residents and visitors.
According to a press release: The website serves as a starting point for visitors to learn about Oak Ridge history, natural resources, science and innovation, and the arts. It provides beautiful images, a local events calendar, and interesting editorial content by various writers about Oak Ridge. One can even book a hotel room right from the site. Most importantly, www.ExploreOakRidge.com provides a platform for the CVB to publicize the positive news and achievements of the Oak Ridge community.
Explore Oak Ridge® on Facebook
Both CVB's ExploreOakRidge.com website and ORBRC's ExploreOakRidge® app have presence on Facebook. The CVB Facebook address is https://www.facebook.com/HistoricOakRidge/ and that of the ORBRC app is https://www.facebook.com/ExploreOakRidgeApp/. The Facebook page for the app provides information about using a smart phone as a guide about town.he The Facebook Teh Facebook
Access the Explore Oak Ridge® App
To save access to the Explore Oak Ridge app on your smart phone:
For an iPhone/iPad
1. Open Safari, go to the app at http://ExploreOakRidge.oncell.com and tap the "Share" icon as shown in the first image.
2. Tap on the "Add to Home Screen" icon.
3. Change the name, if you like, to a shorter name like "ExploreOR", and tap the "Add" button.
You will find the Explore Oak Ridge icon on your screen. It can be moved, like other apps, anywhere you like on your screens.
For Android phones/tablets:
1. Launch Chrome for Android and open the app at http://ExploreOakRidge.oncell.com.
2. Tap the menu button and select "Add to homescreen."
3. Enter a name for the shortcut. Chrome will add it to your home screen.