As an avid hiker, Alexandru Tomescu saw an opportunity in the hiking community to marry classical paper trail maps with interactive data that would take trail planning to the next level.
His vision, along with his partner Alexandru-Alin Tudor, was to create an app that allows hikers to have dynamic trail maps and satellite imagery all from their mobile devices. With one download, the Hikepack “fills a hiker’s backpack” with topographic and satellite map trails in countries all around the world.
The app intelligently extracts all hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails and points of interest from OpenStreetMap, then computes the shortest paths, overall elevation profile, advanced trail stats, and a hiker’s location on the elevation profile – which it can also do in 3D.
Since Hikepack uses open-sourced data, volunteers are constantly updating the mobile app, which has shown to be more accurate than other types of proprietary data. In addition, the data can be saved and used offline for areas where WiFi and cell coverage is spotty or non-existent.
When it came to a finding a website domain for the app, Alexandru chose a .Earth domain because it was more reflects the joys of hiking, and being in nature.
“We wanted a domain name that was more personal, and better conveys what hiking is all about, and how we always look for ways to be in contact with nature and protect it,” said Alexandru. “That made the .Earth domain an obvious choice for us.”
Following are other highlights from this podcast interview:
- About Hikepack, and how the idea originated. (.50)
- Features of the app. (2:20)
- How the app is being marketed, and user adoption thus far. (4:50)
- Why Hikepack chose to use a .Earth domain name. (6:49)
- What the future holds for Hikepack. (8:15)