Living outside the comfort zone

Some weeks remind us how different life has become since we at SplashMaps took the plunge with our dream for REALoutdoor navigation the weather cannot ruin.

BBC have increased our coverage:  morning, noon and evening!

I used Mike Apps show on Monday to announce 2 new initiatives from SplashMaps.

On Monday, during my radio interview with Mike Apps (listen at 1hr 42min), I made two new announcements about our future plans.  Firstly I announced our site centring application. What’s that, you ask?

You will soon be able to create maps centred on your favourite places and matched to your precise needs.  Great news for glasses wearers, people who’ve moved house or who are living on the edge… of the map. We know this will make your outdoor adventures even better. You’ll be able to choose your own scale and even the size of each SplashMap. Everyone can create their own unique SplashMap!

On Wednesday I presented the thinking behind all this to the Cartographic Society 2013.  I was flattered to be invited and delighted by the warmth of their response and the greatness of their expectation from our small start–up business. 

Steve Chilton speaks at CartoSoc dinner

Steve Chilton speaks at CartoSoc dinner

At dinner Steve Chilton, the Chairman of the Society, encouraged members to do things that would take them out of their comfort zone, citing our business as a true example. As start ups, I’m sure we all live ‘on the edge’ of this zone from time to time so it was great for us to get a reassuring signal like thisk.

I explained our concept of ‘push-button’ tailoring and how versatile we can be when dealing with data, especially geodata. Open geodata has allowed us to innovate with impunity and define products purely around our adventurous customers’ needs without the constraints of commercial licences.  At last!  

At the end of my presentation I invited Cartographic Society members to become cartographers for a month with SplashMaps.  We’ve had a great response and we look forward to seeing how good their maps can be when derived from our data, through our process and on our material early next year.  

The second radio announcement I made was about the growth in our retail network.  We had signed up our first Isle of Wight retailer earlier in the day (Wight Mountain, Newport). It’s a significant time as we are now only one week from the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival fortnight. 

But by the end of Friday we’d gained another retail partner.  After a 2 hour meeting at their offices near Portsmouth, Wiggle and I had sorted out another agreement.  SplashMaps will be available via the biggest on-line retailer for bikes and accessories in the UK.  This is something we are very excited about.  It helps position SplashMaps in the bike accessory, map and performance clothing market and will get us known by many more cyclists, runners and triathletes.  Initial product offerings will be from our best selling fixed area maps at 1:40 000, but already we are sharing ideas on an electrifying Christmas promotion and relating new products to Wiggle cycling events planned for next year.

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