If you follow me on Twitter, the ultra-easy status-update app would have told you that I’ve been camping at Bear Lake last week… but you wouldn’t have known exactly where. That part of the picture is left out.
But more important than you trying to find me, it is still very difficult is to find out what is around you when you are at a place unfamiliar to you–to access the world of knowledge about a place–in a easily digestible map-based, easily transportable format.
For example: Two things I wanted to do this week included getting to the beach, and going for some hikes. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money for access to the beach, and at least one of the hikes I wanted to be enjoyable for some of the people with me who can’t hike treacherous terrain.
To accomplish this, I did the usual–but had to do it all from my Blackberry because my laptop was unavailable–I googled it. I searched phrases like “Hikes near Bear Lake, Utah” and “Good Beach Bear Lake, Utah“. Both turned up promising results, but I had to DIG for them:
Beach Access at Bear Lake:
- There is a State Park at the South end of Bear Lake [Lat Long: 41.965633,-111.3995 (google maps)] that charges $8/car/day for access. Seemed like a reasonable option if a free beach couldn’t be found.
- Bear Lake.org’s Watersports page gave me some good ideas, and I found that there’s a Bear Lake State park on the Idaho side of the lake too (which, honestly I didn’t even really understand we were so close to the Idaho border)
- Finally, I found a PDF file (not mobile compatible, but my Blackberry handled it with a little effort) that shows free beach access all along the South West edge of the lake, just South of Ideal Beach Resort and RV park. Right along the road, at Lat/Long 41.893149,-111.366026 is free, public beach access which is pretty nice.
The bottom-line is, we were able to find things after searching, but there was no clear way to search one place and say:
- Here I am (GPS would be nice, but Verizon disables that in Blackberrys! FAIL)
- I want to ______________________ (insert activity)
- All from a MOBILE interface
And have it provide results.
You’d think we would have figured this out by now!