Simon Coward of Aquabatics in Calgary is one step closer to creating the equivalent of the popular mountain biking app Trailforks for kayakers and other paddlers.
Two months ago we reported about avid whitewater enthusiast Simon Coward and his efforts to create a mobile paddling app that would utilize similar features to the mountain biking app Trailforks but report on things like water levels, river hazards and more. Yesterday he contacted us to say a lot of development has occurred since that story first appeared. So we asked him a few questions to find out where the app is now at.
Hey Simon, when last we heard you were working on a demo model for BC and Alberta. Where are you at now in the process?
As of this week we are a few days away from letting loose our first round of regional moderators on the back end of the site. We are going to spend a month or so getting this process dialed in, take feedback from them and get a really solid workflow locked down and then we will roll out to more regional moderators and shortly after that the info will be available for use of the paddling public. We are focusing the first round on whitewater as we have most of that info in place already. Once we get that locked down we are going to make flat-water locations an option too.
The original version of the app showed river alerts, new levels, and regional overviews. What other functionalities have been added?
All that you mentioned is largely in place. We have spent the bulk of our time making sure the user interface for adding new rivers, maps, etc are really slick and easy to use. Our design guys are right now finalizing a waypoint adding tool, which will make adding put ins, takeouts and notable rapids super easy for all users. We are at a point where we feel the content and workflow for adding content is ready for launch. Design work is going to be an ongoing thing, but we are also really happy with where that is at right now
When we first spoke you had invested about $3,000. Where are you at now?
Let’s just say it is considerably more than that, especially by the time we have a fully working app for the spring.
Have any other partners come on board?
At this stage it is just us and Rapid Media. However Apero Creative Development (the team creating the site and ultimately the app) are matching every dollar we put into the project. So, the initial website and mobile site bill we have estimated at $30,000 they are matching the $15,000 in hours and Rapid and Aquabatics Calgary are contributing the remainder in cash.
What else can you tell us about what you’ve learned during this creation process?
So far things have been going pretty smoothly. We have certainly had to roll with the punches so to speak with some technology stuff and also the flow of information and how it all works. The Aperomedia team are doing a fantastic job of translating our requests into this project. I know we have a long way to go, but we’re really stoked on it and looking forward to getting it out to the paddling public.