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Mobiletours: New Dial-a-Tour Service for DC Tourists

Mike Musgrove

The Washington Monument is just a little over 555 feet high. Pierre L'Enfant originally envisioned building digs for the president that would have been four times the size of what we know as the White House.

Launched Monday, there's a new service is designed to let tourists dial their cell phones to learn such fun facts about Washington's local tourist attractions. Dial one of 11 numbers that went live today, and you can learn a little history about topics ranging from Arlington Cemetary to the White House.

The service, called Mobiletours, is the work of a recent Georgetown grad Richard Zielinski, who works as a tech consultant for IBM during the week -- and as a tour guide for students on the weekends. Today, the service is ad-free, but Zielinski is hoping that businesses catering to tourists will soon see the appeal and buy short ads at the beginning of the recorded guides. At the Mobiletours Web site, users can also opt to download the tours as a podcast.

This isn't the first tourguide-via-cellphone service out there, but Zielinski thinks that his is the first free one out there. The competition, called Talking Street, charges $5.95 for tours delivered via cell phone. Their Boston tour is read by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Talking Street's DC tour host: Larry King.

Zielinski says he plans to expand the service to Boston and New York City soon.

By Mike Musgrove  |  March 6, 2007; 6:22 AM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

I just found the website at and listened to a few of the phonecasts. What an excellent idea! The tour is really well done and I especially liked the interviews with the veterans. Now when family come to visit me out here I don't have to guide them around the city...I'll just give them these numbers!

Posted by: Pete Provost | March 6, 2007 10:13 AM

Wow, this is a great idea! I am impressed by the quality of the content of the phonecasts.

Posted by: David Genge | March 6, 2007 10:33 AM

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