San Juan Islands Insider
Exploring the islands?
There’s an app for that…
Well – there’s an app coming soon, like in about 2 weeks or so.
You may remember from a previous post on the SJ Update, that Lopez resident, Tim Fry of 468 Communications, won a portion of the grant from the EDC’s Launch San Juan Islands business plan competition with his plan to create a visitor’s app.
Well it’s pretty much done now and just waiting for Apple and Google to run it through their approval processes. Sometime very soon you will be able to get the app yourself from the iTunes app store or Google Play.
So what does it do exactly? It helps visitors once they’re here, to explore the islands by awarding points when they see and experience various attractions. Things like restaurants, businesses, beaches, parks, hikes, and other destinations are shown on the app’s Map. When a user visits one of these locations, the app will know they are there (through the wonders of GPS technology), and the user will then be able to tap on “Collect Points”.
Points may then be redeemed for various goods and services at participating businesses. In this way, the app is not merely a Guide Map, but rather an incentive to get people out to see and experience the islands’ attractions.
What’s more, for many locations, the app will have instructions and guidelines – Stay on trail, dogs on leash, or other “leave-no-trace” tips will help ensure visitors know how to enjoy our local destinations without having too much of a negative impact upon them.
The whole process for this started a little over a year ago with an idea from Becky Smith, then director of the Lopez Chamber of Commerce. It is now a group effort from the Chambers of Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands, and currently includes over 130 points of interest over all the islands.
More information about the app is available on this Overview brochure (PDF). View more screenshots from the app below.
Tim Fry has been in the technology business for over 20 years. He has owned a home on Lopez for about 5 years and moved there permanently from the Seattle area 2 years ago.