Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
Click here to view the accidental yogist's map of los angeles yoga studios in a full-size page

Monday, June 16, 2008

dashing to class

tracy from platial.com recently sent me a quick heads-up. turns out that dash navigation -- the company behind a new internet-connected GPS device, the dash express -- used my yoga studio map (yes, the one shown at the top of my blogsite) as an example to demonstrate the dash's web integration capability via wi-fi and cell sites.

in a presentation made at the web 2.0 summit last october, dash's mark williamson and rob currie showed the attendees how the dash express relays live traffic information from road sensors plus driving patterns fed back from other dash express users. it also works with yahoo to supply current search results as well as with other internet sites, such as platial, to provide additional driving information.

i hear john is into yoga. let's say he's going to LA next week and wants to find the location of a bunch of yoga studios just in case he has some time between meetings to chill out. if he goes on the internet, he might stumble across one of these geo-mashups out there. this one is off of a site called platial, and somebody has, lo and behold, mapped all the yoga studios in LA. but where do you really want this information? you don't want it here on your computer. you want it on your dashboard in your rental car to find it right at your fingertips.

mark then proceeds to upload the map's RSS feed to the dash website, and within seconds, a button shows up on the dash.

so now john's driving around LA and says, "i've got an hour". he hits the button he created, LA YOGA, and he gets the most relevant content based on that platial site in his car...

naturally, i'm thrilled to death, even if most of the tech nerds in the audience were probably more into the technology behind the web hookup than the usefulness of my yoga studio map. oh well; to each his own.

if you're interested in viewing the video in its entirety, click here (my map's few minutes of fame is around the 4 minute mark)

i'd love to try out the dash gizmo for myself, maybe not so much to access the yoga studio map (because, after all, i created it and have been to all the places on it), but to try out many of its other features. unfortunately, the $399 price tag is a bit too steep for me. maybe i can hope that being used in their show-and-tell might earn me a discount, or better yet, maybe even a free one? hint, hint :)

by the way, these dash GPS units were recently named by thrillist.com as one of the ultimate gifts for dad. here's what thrillist wrote:

Unlike most units, this in-car number's fully hooked up to the 'net, and also provides live traffic data that'll direct you towards the fastest route -- giving dad a hyperintelligent computer to disagree with when mom's not around.

The Ultimate Dad's Take: Out of all these gifts, this one's the most brilliant. It pissed me off, about two years ago, I was sitting around and said, wouldn't it be cool if you could mesh GPS up-to-the-second traffic reports? Of course, I never did anything. But you don't want to just stay idling in traffic with $4.50 gas. And road rage and drive-bys. It could solve all the problems of this country.
Read More