The City App

I’d be super nice that if for instance i’m going to Bandung, there’s a mobile app which helps me exploring the city. Here’s the scenario:

As I enter Bandung, I open this “Bandung App” in my mobile phone and it helps me to survive “live” in this city.

This app will help me to give relevant answer to:

  1. I want to go to Ciwalk, which angkot I should use? (I know there’s Google Maps for that, but for a developed country with trivia here and there?)
  2. Where is the nearest gas station?
  3. Where is the nearest ATM?
  4. Ah, weekend. Is there any event I can attend to?
  5. I want to go to Lembang. Is there any traffic jam along the way?
  6. A notification pops up: oh, I should be careful with these accident in Gunung Batu.
  7. I enter Paris Van Java, oh, there are these promos nearby, or there are these events nearby.

Basically, an app which I need for living in a city. I know, some apps are already exist to answer some of the question I asked above. This idea is like combining Google Maps + Event Brite + Foursquare + you know better than meTM. But please, I don’t need to know any event exist in Singapore or any other hipster cities in the world, I only need to know what happens in this city. What to do in this city. Where to go in this city. How to live better in this city.


I talked with one of my friend, the legendary freelancer, and he said: “well I thought of the same idea, but the challenge is how to collect the data, not the technology“.

Ah, content is king, indeed.

7 responses on “The City App

  1. After I published this post, a revelation comes in: in a perfect world, this app is already exist: it is called Google Now.

    Ask anything, it’ll answer you with its smart singularity machine.

    And it is not limited to “city” context only.

    But still, someone should put the data up in the cloud first, before Google Now crawl, learn, and understand about it.

  2. A long time ago, there was an effort from travelinseven (failed) and the travees (pivot into budgeting app) :))

    But, I still curios about this kind of city geofencing app, because Google map + foursquare can’t locate ATM, tambal ban, spbu, warung angkringan, etc. Can we make it simple? So, people just submit the place and another people can review and edit that place. Eeeem….maybe the technique is similar with wikipedia, and we open the data to another developer.

    1. Yep, the challenge is in the content. I think if it is as simple as people submit the place and another people can review the app, Foursquare has been doing that for years. But without crowdsourcing power, this will be really hard.

      However, i end up thinking two alternatives for build this kind of thing:

      1. Do it as high-budget project. Develop the backend, develop the reporting app, and hire lots of people to explore bandung and report as-you-go the public places listed. Once the MVP version of the data (for example: we think that the most important data for the time being is gas station, atm, mosque, mall, so let’s focus on that thing first) has been collected, release the first version of the app. Soon, release the API.
      2. Do it as non-profit project. Develop the backend, develop the reporting app, and ask people to contribute in pemiluapi kind of way.

      Recently, I end up wondering a nice Interface for this idea. Besides the interactive maps, It’ll be nice if the data is also displayed as infographics.

      1. Let’s called this app “Search engine for the real world”. Option #1 is good, I think we can modify it for small area first and whole the city later. So, the prototype is around Bintaro sektor 5 or around Binus; attract the users with gamification like 4sq or Ingress game did. The first 2-3 months focus on indexing the small area, create a very simple backend and API endpoint, after that design the data visualization. Launch it to public.

        Option #2 is not so good. I don’t think we can pay the server’s bill from donation.

        I think the killer feature is providing local data that Google or 4sq don’t have.

        1. This tagline comes up while i’m done eating:

          “Local data that matter”

          However, one thing that need to be assured, tho: once the big player has this kind of data, this app is loosing its advantage. Any thought on that?

          1. No, I predict big player won’t index this data, but maybe they want to acquire our data :))

          2. that’s what i mean: what once they scrap the data, that’s it :3

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