Downloads: Field Tripby Marion
Welcome to Carrot is Downloading – a blog series devoted to highlighting applications and services that the extended Carrot family is building, using or being delighted by.
This week, we'd like to tell you about an app called Field Trip.
What is it?
Field Trip is a location-based mobile tour guide that serves up bits of information about places around you from a variety of genres: architecture, history, food, music, etc. The baby of an 'internal start-up' within Google Maps, Field Trip takes some of the key concepts around augmented reality that seemed laughable in the context of Google Glass and applies them in a pared down, practical way. Culling articles from well-known sources like Zagat and more obscure sites like Atlas Obscura, it's a great way to explore a new neighborhood or learn new facts about your home turf.
Why haven't we deleted it?
Let me preface this by saying that before this app, I thought I categorically hated push notifications. I will opt-out of them 99.9% of the time, but I'm thrilled that I didn't with Field Trip. Walking my dog the other day, I was notified that one of the Brooklyn piers I pass on a daily basis saw a terrible dock fire in 1941. Standing in the Carrot offices, I learned that the American Army retreated to Manhattan just blocks from our front door during the Battle of Brooklyn - later that day I found out a new restaurant was set to open in our neighborhood.
However, the app is interesting for reasons beyond stoking my nerdy curiosity. A lot of initial noise around the app centered on its ability to successfully execute what a lot of augmented reality apps talk about wanting to do or do on a less successful, seamless level, but I think the real sticking point for me is how it changes the conversation about geolocation with publishers. Save a brief period of obsession with hyper-local journalism, media has pretty much left geolocation to become the playground of daily deal sites and a sorting tool on Yelp. Field Trip changes that and shows publishers about how keeping a map in mind can actually turn into a different way to distribute content to both existing and new audiences. Since using the app, I've found myself visiting sites that weren't regular destinations more frequently because I've been impressed by the content they've provided.
Free! Plus, it's available for Android as well as iPhone, because Google.