An App to Slow You Down.

In the digital age, it seems everyone is trying to develop the best app for streamlining and efficiency. Our phones have us always on and always connected, so we often forget to stop and look around the space we are in. But developer Martin Traunmueller is trying to change that. He developed the app Likeways to help travelers explore a city through aimless wandering. His goal is not to help someone get from point A to point B in the fastest method but instead to help that user discover the gems city they are in and experience the urban space as it was meant to be explored.

To create the leisurely walking routes, he pulled data from Facebook Places and their ‘like’ data to help guide the user towards the best little gems in a city. It is an interesting flip of the convention when developing map & directional based apps. Likeways is exploring how to marry technology and the leisurely urban dweller. Rather than focusing on how to get you through a city without engaging it at its design or inhabitants, Likeways is a celebration of the city, its design and all the unique charm that comes with it.

It is also very interesting to see how Likeways and other apps that follow might help change pedestrian patterns in cities. GoogleMaps’ impact on pedestrian traffic in cities is undeniable, but it will be extremely interesting to see how having apps focused on exploring the ‘off the beaten path’ routes will help to diversify pedestrian patterns. Also this has the promise of getting more patrons to smaller businesses that might get very much attention from tourists or urban dwellers who flock to the highly advertised tourist spots. But only time will tell, in the meantime it is an interesting development for urban explorers and travelers who like to engage a city like a local.

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