Well, it’s wonderful how companies like Yelp and Google with their Maps feature help all of us smartphone users to find what we are looking for and that they use crowdsourcing to help us make safer decisions. But what happens when these tools lead us astray, or when they simply don’t give us the information we need? It seems to me that it happens to me all the time.

No, I’m not mad, because I remember when I bought my first GPS unit for my motorhome. Most of the streets weren’t on the list, just the main roads and the main roads, the data providers weren’t working together cohesively, even if platforms like ERSI had a great system. A few years later, the dot-com bubble burst and didn’t improve for a long time. Today Google Maps is pretty good, but I have had problems with bike lanes, hiking trails, etc. Soon we are told that the interiors of government buildings will also be mapped out, we may never get lost again; a promising future, yes, but that future is not quite here yet.

There was an interesting article in the Albuquerque First Business Journal on October 23, 2013 titled; “Rocks, rivers and trails get the Yelp treatment from the local start-up”, noted by Dan Mayfield; “Outdoor fans can now start seeing hiking and kayaking trails, just like foodies visit restaurants on Yelp. The PlanitMapper site is live with listings of biking, hiking, snow sports, kayaking and climbing of the state. “

This is really cool because not long ago, I was riding my bike in the mountains in California and a couple of college girls stopped me along the way to ask if I knew where the “trailhead” was for a certain popular local trail. Well, I was on a 65-mile bike ride and had little idea where I was. They said Yelp gave them the wrong addresses and I told them I hadn’t passed it, so it must be the other way around. They didn’t go back, so I guess they gave up.

I told them; “Yah, Yelp sucks”, and they said “no kidding” and then I told them; “Who invented this road anyway?”, Pointing to the winding road behind me and all the detours going up about 1,400 feet in elevations, and they said “Yes, right?!?” Anyway, it turns out that Yelp was not helpful! So it’s good that they are fixing this issue with all the hiking trails, it’s a great idea to start with, I hope they make it happen. There is still work to be done. Please consider all of this and think about it.

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