Create and Share Map Locations With Earthcomber

Earthcomber today announced new features of its freeware personal navigator that allow users to mark and share places on the map. Earthcomber Version 1.2 lets users mark their favorite places on maps, either on their Palm-powered devices or directly on the Web, and then share those places through private and public groups in the Earthcomber community.

"The vision for Earthcomber is to allow users to exchange points of interest on the map," said Earthcomber founder Jim Brady. "We're putting people in charge of their own experience, and with this release of Earthcomber, people can graduate from being recipients of information to being mappers of their own worlds."

Earthcomber users can mark places of interest as they travel, making field notes while the software provides the map coordinates and other details. Users with GPS (Global Positioning System) will be automatically positioned on Earthcomber maps. Users without GPS can use the maps to position themselves. The break-away feature, however, is that users can then share their own locations in Earthcomber's new "community" area.

Locations can be shared with public groups, or kept in private, member-only groups. Users who join a group can load that group's locations onto their own Palm-powered devices, or browse the locations on the web. For example, if one member of a bird-watching group marks 20 new spots for viewing birds, and a second member marks 30 new spots, all members of the group get access to the 50 new spots. The new features of Earthcomber provide users with numerous applications:

- Personal travel and adventure - create a map of an upcoming trip that contains all the places you intend to go, and then use the Palm as a mobile vacation guide. During the trip, you can mark memorable spots such as highlights or discoveries. You can store these spots in "plogs" (map logs) that can be kept private or opened to the public for read-only viewing.

- Family connections - mark family homes, ancestor gravesites, family reunion sites, and places of genealogical interest. These places can then be made available to other family members.

- Interest groups - mark the best places for jogging, hiking, photography, railroad spotting .

- For work - mark the locations of customers, job sites, suppliers, and other spots of interest to co-workers.

- At events - create mobile event maps that help participants find key spots during conventions and festivals.

Earthcomber also comes preloaded with nearly 1.5 million places of interest, including stores, services, attractions, historical sites, and more. Earthcomber can notify users about the closest library, post office, shopping mall, hospital, or police station. Nature lovers can quickly find the nearest park, mountain summit, hiking trail, lava flow, glacier, waterfall, lake, and many more natural features. Earthcomber also contains over 50,000 sites from the National Register of Historic Places. Users can personalize their experience by indicating exactly the types of places they want to see on their maps.

Earthcomber is free for users. Users can download the software along with free digital maps for any county in the United States. Businesses can list their locations on Earthcomber for as little as $35 per year. Earthcomber is currently available on PDAs and smart phones powered by the Palm OS , version 3.5 or higher.

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Ho hum

palmdoc88 @ 3/8/2005 6:32:33 PM # Q
Why call it Earthcomber? It should be called North America comber. Hardly a global app. :P

T3 & T5 user
RE: Ho hum
cbowers @ 3/8/2005 7:28:23 PM # Q
Is it even that? I don't see evidence of inclusion of Canada and Mexico.

RE: Ho hum
cdunworth @ 3/8/2005 11:41:17 PM # Q
I with this weren't true, but it's a very real shortcoming of our location finder service. However, we had to start somewhere, and the U.S. happens to be our backyard (we're based just outside Chicago). Also, the U.S. Census Bureau has made relatively high quality map data of the entire country available for free (a price which is very attractive to a startup on a budget). So we then turned it around and made it free to Palm owners in a form they could take with them, with a layer of interesting locations to find laid out atop it (with more being added every day).

I still hope that you give the service a try, especially our new Community area (which is really the focal point of this release). And if you have feedback on the website or the Palm application, we would definitely love to hear it.

Kind regards,

Chris Dunworth
Earthcomber engineer

RE: Ho hum
LiveFaith @ 3/9/2005 10:26:43 AM # Q
Guys it's FREEware! Even if it were only for Toledo it would be a cool concept. Unless it hard resets your device, all freeware deserves 5 stars. Better than I can code it!

Pat Horne;
RE: Ho hum
palmdoc88 @ 3/9/2005 6:07:47 PM # Q
Ok, kudos for making it free. I do wish it could go global, since that would be really useful for International travellers. Though I do understand the current datasource limitations.
Let's see this app become truly an "Earthcomber" rather than something combing the steets of USA

T3 & T5 user

(not so) Ho hum
G M Fude @ 3/11/2005 2:17:56 AM # Q
My initial reaction was the same as cbowers and palmdoc but after Chris's fair reply I agree with Pat Horne.

Sounds like a great app -- could you add Melbourne, Australia next please, Chris? ;-) I hope it grows and grows, good luck in your venture.

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