Fort Worth Stockyards Get High-Tech Tours

GPS systems used for history, multimedia on tour.

For many of us, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were simply a cinematic pair of good time outlaws courtesy of Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

But Ron May, of Illinois, now knows otherwise.

"I had no idea that Butch Cassidy used to hang out here," he said.

May is, of course, referring to the Fort Worth Stockyards. He learned that Butch and Sundance actually hid out in the Stockyards after robbing a bank in the Midwest, and the infamous photograph of Butch, Sundance and the Hole in the Wall Gang was taken by a photographer in downtown Fort Worth.

All of this information came courtesy of the handheld GPS tour service now available to visitors of the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards.

The video-guided tour features local celebrities such as Pam Minick, of Billy Bob's, giving audio anecdotes and history lessons concerning landmark buildings such as the Coliseum, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

"The Stockyards has such a rich history," Minick said. "This GPS system was tailor-made for it."

She said only about 20 other places in North America utilize it.    

A little larger than the average handheld PDA unit, the self-paced tours are delivered through the GPS Ranger, which delivers  multimedia content based on the location of the user using global positioning system technology.

The tour includes 24 different points of interest and 30 different video segments, giving visitors a closer look at the history and culture of the Stockyards.

Because people from all over the world visit the Stockyards, the GPS tours are also offered in French, German, Spanish and Japanese.

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