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
Eating Healthy is a Snap with Dr. Oz’s App Pick
Photo credit: Getty Images
Dr. Mehmet Oz, famous cardiac surgeon and star of TV’s The Dr. Oz Show, spends much of his time giving nutritional guidance to his show’s viewers and patients. But we bet he never thought advice could get as simple as “take a picture of your food.”
Dr. Oz told USA TODAY that he likes the Meal Snap app. Just use your smartphone to take a photo of your food in front of you, and the app calculates how many calories you’re consuming. Bam—food recording is done.
Of course, the app is not always 100 percent accurate, but we still think the simple act of recording our food helps us be more conscious of what we’re eating. You can share your meals on Twitter, Facebook and foursquare if you want some extra motivation, and you can even view your eating patterns over time.