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Williamsburg man creates interactive app for Colonial Williamsburg

Posted at 8:03 PM, Apr 10, 2015

Colonial Williamsburg - Lance Zaal and his start-up company want to make Colonial Williamsburg more interactive. Zaal's company created the app 'iTourMobile,' giving users in-depth historical info on buildings in the colonial capital.

Zaal says there's an issue though, with Colonial Williamsburg itself. He says the group running the area is not supporting the app and has even issued a 'cease and desist.'

"Some feel it takes away from ticket sales of Colonial Williamsburg. They see it as a competing good instead of a complimentary good," Zaal said.

Colonial Willamsburg also has their own app. It features a map of town with basic info on different areas and buildings. It is not nearly as detailed as the 'iTourMobile' app which has more multimedia features and tours of other areas across Hampton Roads and the nation but for a price.

Zaal insists he's not trying to compete with Colonial Williamsburg. He says he has a meeting scheduled with leaders later this month and is hoping a partnership can be reached.

In a statement, Colonial Williamsburg says they have no meeting setup with Mr. Zaal and adds this issue does not involve ticket sales.  They are also asking Zaal to only remove certain parts of the content on the iTourMobile app.

"It's not about ticket sales and there is no meeting scheduled between Colonial Williamsburg  and Zaal. For many years Colonial Williamsburg has been a leader in the use of electronic media for educational purposes and to make the experiences of visitors and others interested in what we do as rich and rewarding as possible. We are exploring virtual tours in a variety of contexts, and are evaluating how they can best be developed and used to further our mission at the highest qualitative level."

"Colonial Williamsburg has simply asked Mr. Zaal to remove a certain limited amount of content from his tour which Colonial Williamsburg believes is being improperly used."

-Colonial Williamsburg Spokesperson, Joseph Straw