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Barcelona Launches Digital Magazine, Ready for the Digital Tourists

rsz_barce-cover-lgTablets and smartphones are phenomenal vehicles in publishing, which means governments are now en route to or if not, it should not be long until they begin to adopt digital publishing in their issuance of public information. 

Nearly everyone, as well, uses the Internet to plan travels. With big chunk of travelers planning leisure trips online, tourism is the ideal government unit to leverage on mobile devices.

Take, for instance, the initiative of Barcelona City Council. They recently released a native digital edition of their tourist magazine, Barcelovers. Designed to engage digital tourists in the Barcelona travel experience, the new app uses rich media to even more immerse visitors in their brand. With the digital edition, readers can discover the city, learn its identity and history and even plan their own Barcelona adventures all at the touch of their fingertips. Originally posted on Talking New Media, an article written by D.B. Hebbard is featured below to give us more details about Barcelovers’s digital edition. 

You see, the movement of governments towards digital is not completely theoretical, as more and more cities like Barcelona are already on board. We’ll continue to track transition of public authority’s communications into digital publishing here at Realview!

The city council of Barcelona has launched an iPad edition of its tourist magazine, Barcelovers. The Apple Newsstand app delivers the latest issue, number 4, in Catalan, Spanish and English.

The digital edition appears to be a hybrid edition, with the ads as seen in print, but the editorial formatted for the iPad. There is also a PDF version available on the website.

This is a very well done digital edition and comes in at the rather most size 125 MB despite native digital layouts and features such as embedded video, animations and the like.

But one must say that these kinds of beautifully created digital magazines are becoming rarer and rarer, usually created by digital-only publishers or organizations outside the magazine business. While the hybrid edition is still commonly seen inside the Apple Newsstand from major publishers such as Time Inc., Condé Nast, Hearst, etc., there is a growing opinion that the PDF replica is where the future lies. The reason, some have told me, is simply that a replica can travel – be placed inside any digital newsstand. That reads who are subjected to these digital editions, after previously reading native digital editions, hate them with such a passion seems not to matter to these magazine executives. Let them eat cake.

One simply cannot compare the readability of the digital edition of Barcelovers with (as an example) the new digital edition for Martha Stewart Living. One is properly sized and designed, the other requires pinch-to-zoom to read. But I digress.

The new Apple Newsstand app, the first to appear under the “Ajuntament de Barcelona” developer account, is the 33rd app released in total. Other apps include guides to parks and museums, sometimes different mobile apps for different languages.

Read full article on Talking New Media, click here.