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!
Denny Henson’s foray into the world of technology started when she went to register her daughter for college and came home with a class schedule of her own. Having been involved in several successful start-ups, her project management, managerial, and organizational skills have been put to use in a variety of settings.
Greg Boss was recently recruited by United Health Care to head up their IP Department. Greg is the 73rd most prolific inventor in world history and brings unique insights and guidance to the Map-N-Tour Team. Greg’s 460 patents filed worldwide cover a broad range of technologies including cloud, telecommunications, mobile, smart grid and energy, automotive and entertainment.
Rick joined Map-N-Tour as Chief Financial Officer in November 2014. He brings approximately 20 years of experience in various financial and management roles. He also currently serves as the Director of Internal Audit at Columbus McKinnon Corporation, a public company serving the global material handling industry.
Mapping & Project Consultant
Kevin’s background in geology and medical imaging enable him to visualize 3-D and 4-D information. As a “living history” reenactor, he also has an interest in preserving the past and relating its importance to our time.