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updated: 12/5/2012 4:05 PM

Naperville's Century Walk audio tour gaining steam

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  • Century Walk visitors can now use their cellphones to learn more about 40 of Naperville's Century Walk public art pieces.

       Century Walk visitors can now use their cellphones to learn more about 40 of Naperville's Century Walk public art pieces.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Need to know more about "The Cat in the Hat?" Take your phone and scan the code.

       Need to know more about "The Cat in the Hat?" Take your phone and scan the code.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • All of Naperville's Century Walk public art pieces now have QR codes that lead you to audio clips about the pieces.

       All of Naperville's Century Walk public art pieces now have QR codes that lead you to audio clips about the pieces.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • The Dick Tracy sculpture along Naperville's downtown Riverwalk is popular among fans using QR codes to learn more about the piece.

      The Dick Tracy sculpture along Naperville's downtown Riverwalk is popular among fans using QR codes to learn more about the piece.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

Is a certain bronzed crime fighter poised to unseat George Pradel as Naperville's most popular resident?

A new technology installed at more than 40 Century Walk public art pieces in Naperville may soon be able to keep track.

Using QR (Quick Response) code technology, a Century Walk visitor can now scan the black and white code found in the corner of the plaque accompanying each piece of art with a smartphone to instantly listen to a 3-minute narrative about the piece.

Since the codes were installed last month, Century Walk spokeswoman Melanie Pusateri said, more than 1,000 visitors have listened to the audio clips and a certain comic book crime fighter has been the most popular.

"The Dick Tracy audio tour (outside the Naperville Township Administration Building at 139 Water St.) is the most popular so far with 39 downloads since installation around Nov. 6," she said.

The audio presentation at Pradel's "Officer Friendly" sculpture on Washington has yet to crack the top 10 most listened to pieces.

The brief narrations were written and performed in a local studio earlier this year by Naperville residents John and Carolyn Roscich.

Century Walk Chairman Brand Bobosky said the corporation has attempted to keep up with the times by using Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about its initiatives. The audio tour is just the next step.

"We're Naperville so of course we need to be as technologically advanced as Versai and the Louvre (Museum in Paris, France)," he said. "Having an audio tour of our pieces gets us there. I don't even know where else we go from here."

There are now 40 audio tours available -- one for each of the first 40 pieces of Century Walk art. All but three pieces in the collection are clustered along two miles of walkways in downtown Naperville. A recommended walking route has been created on Google that gets you from one end of the collection to the other using the most efficient path.

Brochures featuring the QR code and an updated map featuring all 40 locations are currently available at Century Walk headquarters at 34 W. Chicago Ave., Suite B. Eventually they will be available at several downtown merchants and at city hall and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

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