I guess it's high time I formally introduce one of my small "for fun" projects that I have been working on in my spare time: MapDiary Top

MapDiary provides a simple way to upload small messages and pictures from your GPS cellphone as you move about during the day, track the route you took, and see your posts plotted on a map. The way I originally envisioned it was as a tool that you could use for example when traveling in order to see where you experienced what and for friends to be able to follow along in real time (below is a shot showing a recent trip I went on to Tochigi and Ibaraki).

MapDiary Daily Log page

The reason for making this was basically that it was something I wanted to use myself, but at the time there was nothing around that did quite what I had in mind. Thus, I decided to make it myself. I imagine there are loads of apps with similar capabilities around by now though, but I guess I still kinda like the simplicity of mine!

The application works as an extension of Twitter (a Twitter account is required - anything you post to MapDiary is also automatically shown on Twitter) and runs on a number of platforms:

  • Using a web browser by selecting your position on a map manually: Not much fun but what else are you going to do without a satellite in space keeping track of where you are!
  • Using a native iPhone/iPod Touch application: This is probably the smoothest way of doing it and the way I originally intended it to be used (I'm an iPhone user and therefore biased...)
  • Using a 3G cellphone. Currently only Japanese models from AU and Softbank are supported, but I would love to add support for more types of phones in the future. If anyone is willing to hook me up with the GPS  documentation for their particular phone and help out with testing please do let me know!

Using the service is free, although I do charge a small fee for the iPhone version (I had to shell out on a Mac to create it after all! ;)).

I would like to go into more detail about the different functionalities of the application in a subsequent post, but for now you can have a look for yourselves at www.mapdiary.com.