23 July 2013

A mapping app for your phone

Quadstreaker is a fascinating new iPhone app that has really caught my attention. It is essentially a game for exploring the real world. As you run errands or bike a new path, it runs in the background mapping your movements. As you visit more quads, cities, or states, you can move up levels or climb the countless leaderboards.

AllTHingsD quotes Quadstreaker founder Scott Kendall describing the appeal: “I’ve designed Quadstreaker for me and people like me: Explorer-achievers who like maps, collecting — and a sense of completion.”

Geekwire reports how far he was willing to go for that last quad:
To streak one last, particularly difficult quad in Pioneer Square made inaccessible by fences and train yards, he had to not only walk to the end of a big CenturyLink parking garage, but stick his phone out the side of the building. If he couldn’t have shared the accomplishment, he said, he might have felt just a little more … well, weird.
Are there enough completists and competitive explorers out there to make the app a success? Time will tell. But the potential audiences for it could be interesting.

As an explorer, I can't imagine that an app or a game could get me to explore more than I already do. But, for younger urbanites who haven't been bit by the wanderlust bug, the app could have the effect of encouraging more wandering. In the Vimeo video below, Quadstreaker quotes one if its users as saying, that it "challenges me to get out more and see more of the city that I live in." Think about the impact if we could get overweight or obese urban youth inspired to explore their city more.

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