Where interpretation is used

You will find interpretation in a wide range of media from guided walks to traditional panels and booklets, to interactive exhibits and GPS-controlled smartphones

  • in towns and smaller communities
  • in national, regional and local nature parks and reserves
  • in museums and visitor centres and
  • in many visitor attractions.

Interpretation is a means to an end, a way of telling stories
and communicating messages that inspire people.

It employs the art of communication techniques

  • to provoke visitors’ interest,
  • to relate what they see to their own
    interests and experience and
  • to reveal new meanings.

Accordingly any site and place with natural or cultural heritage can benefit from professional interpretation.

However, not all heritage communication is really interpretive

Not all guided tours, wayside panels or exhibits on such sites use
interpretation. Some appear like lessons for students; others simply provide unrelated information. 

In contrast, interpretation is about involving visitors in first-hand experience and helping them to discover a story that has impact, meaning and relevance – whatever the sites and the theme, and whatever media are employed.

More about how interpretation is defined...


Grasp the subject,
the words will follow.

Cato the Elder

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