The Map-N-Tour Story began with a group of 11-year old scouts who wanted to participate in living history, their scout master who decided to hike a 2100-mile trail, and a quirky piece of American History. The Bay City, Michigan River of Time living history event didn’t have anyone representing the Mexican-American War. Kevin Henson’s scouts had ancestors who had served in the conflict as members of the Mormon Battalion.
Knowing nothing about the Battalion, Henson began reading their journals trying to plot their route in Google Earth. Being a “map guy” he quickly realized there were discrepancies between journals and the accepted route. When he stumbled across an article about six grandmothers who had hiked the entire Santa Fe Trail, the idea of re-tracing the Battalion’s steps from Iowa to California to “see for his self” took hold.
This presentation provides a new way to look at all the routes followed by the Mormon Battalion during 1846-47. The emphasis is to better understand where events recorded in their journals occurred. It is not so much a retelling of the entire story as it is an effort to put "what happened" to "where it happened."
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Henson’s initial research took the form of a Google Earth file with pinpoints along a path and text inside the standard “bubble.” The educator in him wanted more. He created an application that could overlay media-rich storytelling elements on the 3D maps. During his seven-month trek, Henson used the proof-of-concept to share the Battalion story. While presenting to audiences across the country, he saw firsthand its ability to engage people in a virtual experience and excite them about the things they were learning. Inadvertently he had created a tool that others could use to share their stories and Map-N-Tour was born.
During the trek, Henson and his wife Denny visited hundreds of towns and homes across America where they discovered fascinating stories about each place along the way. Denny's passion became finding a way to help others experience those stories and in the process gain a greater appreciation for the beautiful places, rich heritage, and modern-day pioneers that are all around us. With the expertise of a phenomenal group of software architects and developers this dream is becoming a reality.
Every place has a story -- and we can help you share it!
Dr. Jordon Shaw
Chief Executive Officer
Jordon's passion for technology came at a young age when he got his first computer at 5 years old. From there, he fell in love with technology. This love carried into adulthood when he enlisted in the military as an Information Technology Specialist. After 9 years in the military, Jordon decided to return to civilian life and went to work for a local government agency in the Middle Tennessee area. In 2018 Jordon ran and was elected to office to become one of the County Commissioners for the 6th district of Maury County. Combining Jordon's love for technology with his knowledge of economic development from working in local government and serving as a County Commissioner, in 2020 Jordon formed Map-N-Tech, LLC and merged with Map-N-Tour to bring best of class technology to people around the globe.