Exploring Trimble Outdoors Navigator with Kris Wagner
At some point all those years ago, when our younger selves contemplated whether we wanted to be veterinarians, firefighters or teachers when we grew up, most of us were told by an elder, “do something you love.” Kris Wagner definitely took that suggestion to heart. In addition to being the outdoorsy guy, Wagner, the marketing director for Trimble Outdoors Limited, has a passion for maps and photography that has translated into his current life’s work. He’s created an app called Trimble Outdoors Navigator, and we at The Recapp simply call it “hefty,” meaning it does a ton and it’s just plain cool. Not to mention it’s an app that revolutionizes the world of outdoor exploration.
Wagner and his team at Trimble Outdoors Limited debut Trimble Outdoors Navigator proudly among the company’s other popular apps, like AllSportGPS and another new release for the iPad, Trimble Outdoors MyTopo Maps. Trimble Outdoors Navigator, complete with cutting-edge maps, compass tools and awesome social features, is essentially on its way to changing how outdoor enthusiasts (like Wagner himself) explore. The Recapp catches up with the mastermind of the navigation app for insights on his inspiration and outlook on the future of the app world.
- What was your inspiration for Trimble Outdoors Navigator? Are you an avid hiker, or do you consider yourself rather “outdoorsy”?
My wife jokes that I’m more comfortable in a tent than at home. My love for the outdoors has run wild in my veins since I was a kid. I’ve swum with crocodiles in Australia, backpacked trails on four different continents, climbed high peaks like Mount Rainier, and paddled with killer whales in British Columbia. I helped pioneer a 95-mile off-trail route across Wrangle-St. Elias National Park in Alaska and was handpicked to represent the United States on the Trans-Baikal Mountain Bike Expedition in 2002. So yeah, I guess I’m the quintessential outdoorsy guy.
- What do you hope to accomplish with an app like this?
Say you want to climb a remote peak in the Colorado Rockies—you can use Trimble Outdoors Navigator to pre-load all the maps you need for the climb and use the tools in the app to help guide you up the peak. If a whiteout or storm rolls in and visibility is limited, the app can help you backtrack to the trailhead. Additionally, you can share your epic trip route, photos and videos on TrimbleOutdoors.com and Facebook.
Here at Trimble Outdoors, we hope that our app’s advanced GPS and map technology will increase people’s confidence in the outdoors, because they know exactly where they are, where they came from and how fast they are moving (even without a cell phone or data connection). It really allows them to explore like never before. The bottom line is that no other app maker has paired old-school paper maps with next-gen apps to create a full-solution for outdoor enthusiasts. We’re super excited about that!
- What kind of feedback have you received from your app’s users?
So far, the feedback has been excellent. We’ve seen hundreds of trips posted from around the world on trimbleoutdoors.com. We’ve had calls from search and rescue folks asking for more features. In addition, hikers want to see more trip stats after they finish their hikes. We’ll continue to tweak the app and add more features as we get feedback.
- Besides your smartphone, what’s your favorite gadget?
My Nikon D70 camera goes on every trip with me. The body is completely beat up (duct tape holds the pop-up flash down), but it has also captured so many beautiful shots over the years, and it continues to take great shots.
- What do you see the future of apps being?
The app world is still like the Wild Wild West. But as phones become faster, more durable and more efficient on batteries, we will see more people using them as essential tools not only in everyday life but also in the outdoors. Outdoor apps will have to address specific wants of the customers based on their location and their sports. For instance, a hunter doesn’t want to see mountain bike trails on his map. He’s more interested in public boundaries and hunt zones. Vice-versa a mountain biker doesn’t want to see hiking-only trails nor does he want to see a trail that is 1,200 miles away from him. But the same customer might be a hunter and a mountain biker. Outdoor apps will need to adjust to the sport niche and location that the customer is interested in at that very moment.
For a limited time, download Trimble Outdoors Navigator for free.
Apps I Love
Hollywood’s Heartthrob Turns App Investor
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Leonardo DiCaprio has been one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs since his performance in Titanic, and he has preserved his reputation as a worthy actor with other hit films such as Inception, The Departed and Catch Me If You Can. But DiCaprio is switching gears from show business—whether it be for a side gig or a change in career—by investing $4 million in the app Mobli.
Going off of the tagline, "See the world through other people’s eyes," Mobli is a social network where users can share photos and videos, and the app automatically tags each post with a location or major event in the surrounding area. Users can also follow channels that display photos about a particular topic, such as Leo himself.
Mobli CEO Moshe Hogeg told The Huffington Post in October 2011 that Leo’s not much of a tech guy, but he is very excited to be involved in the marketing aspect of the app. “He believes in the vision of the company and thinks that this is the future of media. He wanted to get on board in the beginning, influence it, and give his input into the company.”