Motivation: In June of 2004 I was faced with the prospect of moving. And like many people I find that a major source of moving-related stress is not knowing where anything is in my new town. I thought that it would be convenient if there was a map where I could see where institutions and business necessary for day-to-day living  such as banks, grocery stores, government buildings, drug stores and the like were located in relation to apartment buildings and transit lines.
Overview: A good overview of the Locator Map concept can be found here.

 

Business Prospects: It seems that applications such as Google Maps, and particularly their implementation of the customizable map function may have rendered this concept obsolete. There are some drawbacks, however.
  • These types of applications are only useful if the user has access to the Internet when they need the information. While this is becoming more common, it is far from ubiquitous.
  • These applications do not appear to allow the saving of the map itself as a file. This makes the viewing of these maps on non-Web enabled devices problematic. One cannot, for instance, insert a map into a document.
  • While creating one's own personal map is far easier than ever, if one has to do more than two or three locations the process can be a bit tedious.

The business model may have to become one where scalable maps can be downloaded and viewed on non-Web enabled devices. The primary market would probably be those who do not want the attendant cost of a data plan in addition to their other phone expenses and those who just don't want to be bothered with creating their own maps.

I have included a couple of examples or prototypes of the concept:

Albany, OR (Partial)
Lebanon, OR

Banner icon credits: www.oregonstate.edu, www.fda.gov, www.mobile-review.com, www.dof.state.fl.us