Kamino (iOS; free), an urban hiking app that debuted earlier this year, says it’s all about user-generated walking tours which can help people enhance their relationships with a city. Seemed right up my alley. After registering, with a few taps I could find plenty of hikes in my neighborhood (many of them centered around drinking, +1), and once I selected the route I wanted, the app gave me directions to the start of the walk, as well as distance and time it would take to walk it.
What I liked
As I would come to learn, an urban adventure app is only as good as the content people have created for it. For anew app, Kamino had a nice diversity of hikes to choose from in LA, but was less robust (although not barren) in a place like Boulder. I also liked how it encouraged you to do the walk in order, the way the creator had intended, and gave detailed turn-by-turn directions. While I didn’t necessarily discover any new places I didn’t already know on the hikes I demoed, I appreciated the way each walk was curated.
What I didn’t like
After taking a hike in my neighborhood, I tried to create my own hike highlighting various oddities in my neighborhood (like this sign). But after trying several times on multiple days, I couldn’t manage to create my own. I could create the name of the hike, but when it came to adding locations, it didn’t let me input random addresses, encouraging me to add nearby, well-known landmarks instead. Maybe the locations have to be somehow already entered into their system? I was also unable to edit my hike once it was created, so it remains blank. I went to the website to see if I could edit my hike from there, and it didn’t even show up.
After my experience with Kamino, I was particularly keen to try Mosey, another new startup that claims it can “connect you with the best places in any city.” Their app also debuted earlier this year (iOS; free) and has a plethora of adventures found near me. Instead of taking prescribed walks, like Kamino, Mosey allows users to select locations around a theme, then generates a list and map. I was able to discover a few Moseys (that’s what they call them) near me in every place I went to, but the app is so beautiful I also found myself perusing adventures in Amsterdam and Portland.
What I liked
Mosey’s design was heads and shoulders above Kamino when it came to both looks and interaction. It was supremely easy for me to create my Mosey of downtown LA public transportation innovations (plus ice cream) and I was able to map each location beautifully on both the app and the website. While Mosey will pull up suggested locations with a few keystrokes, it also didn’t have any trouble creating brand-new locations with just a name and address. I was also able to “save” places when I was out and about to my account, which I could organize into Moseys later. It was actually by browsing a list of other people’s “places” that I found an excellent restaurant in Boulder for lunch.
What I didn’t like
While Mosey had obviously partnered with some bloggers and local groups (including an event I’d organized where they served as a partner), there didn’t seem to be a groundswell yet of Moseys created by my fellow Angelenos. Overall, they need more users to make the site more dynamic and relevant.