About one year ago, while I was living in Chicago, I started creating these architecture maps so I could remember all the awesome places I wanted to visit. One day a non architect friend asked me where was this amazing building I was always talking about – The Poetry Foundation. He was unable to find it, and after several failed attempts I decided to share my personal Google Map with him. I thought he was going to laugh at my map, full of buildings and architecture geeky stuff but the thing is that he shared the map with another friend who then came to me and gave me feedback. “Hey, did you think about including more information or maybe a link to the site”. By that time I had just created this blog so I decided to upload the only two maps that I had: Chicago and New York. And then everything started to change.One week before moving in to Rome for 7 months
So I moved to Rome and by then half of my friends already knew about this “Maps idea”. I had only 3 architecture maps on this blog.
When an architecture lover travels, he/she has to check several places such as Archdaily, MIMOA, Lonely Planet etc. in order to find all these architectural spots. I though that if I had done all the research before for my trip, all this information could be useful to others. So I started to put all these things I learnt in my maps changing the way I presented this information. I learnt 3 things while doing these maps:
1. Almost everyone loves architecture.
2. If you explain why any building is so important people tend to appreciate it more.
3. I hate tourists (people who have no real interest in the city they are visiting and take pictures of everything they see as if it was a zoo).
When I did my 5th map (Rome) I was determined to start something big with them. On the one side I wanted to share all the amazing pieces of architecture that were sometimes unknown to non architects and on the other hand I wanted to benefit from technology to make this information useful. Julius was born.
A lot has happened since then. But this is what it has become for now.
Say hi to Julius for iPad:
We are still working a lot on it but some of its features include:
- It creates something personal according to your traveling profile, no matter if you’re traveling by yourself or with your family.
- When you edit it, the system finds the best day to visit. The day that it’s free or when something special is going on.
- Information is very curated, it includes technical stuff such as floor plans, construction details when relevant and information about the architect.
Our mission is
- to build something useful for the architecture lover, local or traveler it doesn’t matter.
- To make good use of technology in order to sort information affectively and to promote good architecture.
We just graduated with this project in Tetuan Valley Startup School. However, this is just the beginning of a really big dream.
Tetuan Valley Startup School Graduation Day- Mentors and Team members
For the moment it is just for iPad but future steps include a web and a phone app that are complimentary to the planned trip. If you have any feedback I would love to hear it, many of the big ideas came from comments on this blog :)