In this article we have the pleasure of discovering a new partner that’s attempting to disrupt the traveling industry.
We’re discussing with Jim Zhu, the CEO of “GPSmyCity”, the self-guided walking tours apps for iOS and Android, about the ingredients behind their success: the power of a niche focus (in their case we are talking about the walking tour app), the need of having the richest and most accurate attractions information and the importance of tying everything together into an experience.
Q: Hello Jim, how you would describe GPSmyCity in less than 50 words?
GPSmyCity empowers visitors to become their own tour guides. Our self-guided city walk apps come with precise tour maps to guide travelers to the world famous landmarks, monuments, historic sites as well as hidden gems in over 470 cities worldwide. We make bus tours obsolete!
Q: For those of us not familiar with the GPSmyCity industry/vertical, what sets GPSmyCity apart from the competition?
We laser-focused on our niche which is to provide travelers with a tool to allow them explore cities on foot. While it is tempting to provide a general purpose city guide app, like the many found on iTunes App Store or Google Play, at the end of the day we believe that we can add most value by picking a niche and executing it better than anyone. We think we have done just that.
Q: Who are your biggest competitors?
There are literally hundreds of companies and individuals publishing travel apps on iTunes App Store and Google Play. We choose to focus on executing our plans, rather than on our competition. If we execute our plans well, then everything else will be taken care of by itself.
Q: What’s the story behind GPSmyCity, how did it come to be?
When I was traveling on business or on vacations – and I used to travel quite a lot – I noticed that many, if not most, popular attractions were located in close vicinity of each other, and can be reached by foot. I remember thinking that if I had a good tour map and a GPS navigator, I would not need to hop on a tour bus or join a guided tour. Not only could I save myself some money, but I would also have more fun exploring the attractions since I could do it at my own pace. When I saw an offline map on iPhone for the first time, I immediately knew that iPhone was the right platform for developing the self-guided city walk application.
Q: How many iterations did you go through until you arrived at the current product? What did you learn along the way?
Frankly, I lost count – must have been dozens of iterations. What we have learned during the process is that in order for an application to be well received by travelers, its content (in our case, the self-guided walking tours) must be interesting and the tour map must be accurate. So, we have been working hard on these two fronts ever since.
Q: How did you end up using the Scout developer platform? What clinched the deal in favour of the Scout developer platform?
We like the fact that Scout uses vector maps based on OSM data. We also think that the Scout’s offline routing features are a great addition to the pre-set tour route maps in our city walk application because they give our users more flexibility for exploring the city attractions. So, we decided to give Scout SDK a try and we have not regretted that decision.
Q: What’s next for GPSmyCity? What should we be looking for?
We certainly have a lot in store for 2016 and beyond. Mostly, there will be more and better content, which means more self-guided walking tours, more city coverages, etc. We also constantly talk to our users to get their feedback on how we can make the city walk application more user-friendly.
Q: Can you convince our readers to start using GPSmyCity in under 50 words?
If you enjoy exploring destinations on foot, at your own pace and at a fraction of the cost of a regular bus tour or guided tour, then don’t leave home without taking GPSmyCity’s city walk apps with you. With GPSmyCity, you can Lose Yourself Without Getting Lost on your trip!