Down and out (of access) in Paris and London

Was lucky enough to get a little time away this summer — never enough — and sneak off to  London and Paris. Managed to avoid the Jubilee and the Olympics for the former, and all the Parisians (and, regrettably, their best boulangeries) for the latter.

It was eye-opening to me how much more digital and mobile London felt. Everything from finding location-aware Tube maps to evaluating museum passes to seeing what’s on around town at a glance on an iPad was easy and optimized for information on the go. Paris felt almost like the opposite — nothing seemed to render well for mobile and sites were organized more bureaucratically than with the user in mind.

End result: easier to find and buy via mobile in London. Wired cities may begin to see investment in digital as more than streamlining infrastructure and engaging citizenry in governance, but as a key to unlocking tourism dollars via mobile commerce.

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