It must be a real pleasure when you’re a Google Maps developer and see some people taking your product to the next level. Like Jordi Ramot did. He’s a Spanish software engineer specializing in geospatial interoperability field and when he’s not behind his computer, he likes to be in the mountains hiking, back-country skiing or mountain biking. Since 2006, he has been developing Wikiloc, a Maps mash-up that allows users to upload GPS waypoints and trails so that other outdoor fans can use it on their trips.
It started as a hobby project, but has grown to a large community of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts sharing their best outdoor routes from anywhere around the world. Several voluntary translators have made the service available in twelve languages. Ramot told Spanish Web 2.0 blog that Wikiloc recently has become a full time project.
And it gets even better now that Google has announced the integration of Wikiloc in Google Earth. Users can now pick routes from the Wikiloc layer. So if you ever feel like skiing near La Monta in Switzerland, be sure to check this map:
Even when you’re not into the whole outdoor extreme sports thing, this post still is relevant to you. It shows that with enough passion, you can even let a hobby project become a successful company.