Wednesday, December 4, 2013

TrackMyTour for holiday lights map: rated A

As we continue our hunt for the perfect interactive photo map for our annual Christmas lights article, I found myself once again gravitating toward travel apps.

IDEA #2: TrackMyTour, rated A

The pluses:
- Free app. Easy to use.

- Allows you to take photos with a different camera and upload them into the app (pull from camera roll), or use a built-in camera. This lets you add reader-submitted photos, too (just set the location manually so it ends up on the right spot on the map).

- Photos are also automatically saved to your camera roll, so you can access them later (like to print individually or use to create an interactive image).

- Allows you to upload live on site or save the points to upload later, like if you don't have wifi (up Boulder Canyon) or you're in a hurry (although it uploads within seconds).

- The map and photo display on the app looks more professional and aesthetic than Geospike and other geotagging apps I've used.

- Because the app automatically geotags the locations and plots them on a map, you don't have to write down the specific addresses (although it may be helpful to add a few), which has been a huge stressor/time waste in the past. Let's face it, finding exact addresses in the dark in a snowstorm sucks. Readers can zoom in close to each dot if they want to see the cross-streets.

- If readers download and use this app to navigate them, it shows them on the map where their car is. Very user-friendly.
I am the blue dot.

- Allows you to add additional information about your photo, including weather, date, comments (this is where I plugged in a few addresses or helpful notes), type of point (monument, shopping, coffee, scenic).

- Equally as great website (a rarity for apps).
A screen shot of the website, which is actually useful, unlike many other app websites (like Instagram's). 

- Best of all: various embed options.

Auto link: Click here to TrackMyTour!

One-click turn into Google Map with embed code:

View Larger Map

This is much, much endlessly much easier than having to automatically add each individual point manually onto a Google Map, like we did last year. No need to create a new photo, save photos to Flickr, upload them, add cutlines, blah blah blah. This app does it all automatically for you -- making it officially better than Geospike, which is not compatible with Google Maps.

The problems:
- Only two free maps until you have to upgrade.
- I do wish there was a way to make a map with points like this but not have the line between the points.
- Built-in camera puts the auto flash on every time you take a photo, so I had to keep turning it off. Who uses flashes?
- Couldn't find a way to share the map with another user so you both can add to it, so we created a new joint account for the newsrooms to share.

The verdict: Rated A. I like things that are easy. And the automated Google Map option wins the world.

1 comment:

  1. I love your app knowledge and how you help to educate people on such!!