We are looking at the end of a fantastic and busy year. 2006 saw the start of Geogad, the offical launch of its website and the release of 5 different tours in 3 different cities. 2007 will be just as busy. More tours in dozens of cities have been planned for the coming year. The Geogad web site will see more features added to make it even more useful to travelers. Just keep you eyes on Geogad for all the latest developments.
Part of looking into the future includes imagining what new things we would like to have. The biggest wish on the Geogad wish list is for new functionality to be included in personal GPS systems. As GPS systems drop in price, they will become a bigger part of everyone’s lives. It will be great when Geogad Mobile Tours can be seemlessly added to these units as part of a universal GPS tour. The only problem with GPS systems now are their still high prices and their lack of standardization. What the producers of GPS systems should do to increase their usefulness is to allow customers to quickly add third-party content, such as Geogad’s tours, using ax XLM-based open source standard in the spirit of RSS. For example, a simple text file could list a route as a series of coordinates (as many GPS devies currently do). But they can also include references to other media files, such as MP3 or video. I envision the file looking something like
(header info about tour)
(point 1: lat, long)point1_section1.mp3, point1_section1.mp3, point1.mp4(/point1)
(point 2: lat, long)point2_section1.mp3, point2_section1.mp3, point2.mp4(/point2)
(point x: lat, long)pointx_section1.mp3, end_of_tour.mp3, end_of_tour.mp4(/pointx)
(/rss: global tour)
The GPS system could read the text file to understand that it should play some intro MP3 file then used its satellite direction system to guide the user to the first coordinate within a +/- error distance. The GPS unit could then play the specified series of MP3, MP4, or other media file. At the end of all of these media files, the GPS unit could then play an ending media file.
Let’s get the word out to Garmin, TomTom, Magellan, Nokia, Mitac, Verizon, and all of the other players in the GPS systems space that getting these device to play nice with third-party apps and content will help speed GPS adoption and improve travelers’ lives.