Why we're building an app that aims to more deeply connect you with your city - Technical.ly Delaware

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Oct. 20, 2016 12:51 pm

Why we’re building an app that aims to more deeply connect you with your city

The founders of GeoSwap are experimenting with how a mobile app can make you engage more deeply with your surroundings. Try it during Delaware Innovation Week 2016.
Wilmington.

Wilmington.

(Photo by Flickr user Michel G., used under a Creative Commons license)

This is a guest post by Geoswap's Jordan Gonzalez.

Twenty years ago, the proliferation of the internet created vast amounts of wealth for those who embraced it (and OK, some of them lost a lot of money, too), connected people to information that allowed them to change their lives and pretty much catalyzed massive change in the world. With the creation of the smartphone, we were able to take that power and condense it into the size of an oversized Post-it note so that everyone everywhere could access it.

Today, we live in a world where our culture is characterized by our habitual use and addiction to our phones. This has been both a gift and a curse for our generation. We have created a world where everyone has the ability to compete in business through tech “disruption,” where anyone can spread their message and connect with a group of like-minded peers. When phones became “smart,” it also gave us the ability to entertain ourselves with apps and internet browsing. This, unfortunately, created another problem: people hid behind their phones instead of talking to one another.

This unique form of escapism is finally being tackled by the startup and tech community. With the growth of the virtual reality, augmented reality and location-based app markets, we are starting to see a change in how people are engaging with the world. People are now connecting these two worlds.

This is a welcome change. Brick and mortar stores, local interest groups, meetups and all other types of events can become lost in the fray if they aren’t overseen by organizations with massive budgets for SEO (search engine optimization). This is why we need a new form of communication: a form that connects people to their cities.

Facebook is getting closer to connecting people to their surroundings with its location-based ad targeting. Eventbrite displays certain events that are going on within cities. Yik Yak allows people to message each other based on who’s around. These apps have all been working toward integrating the physical and digital landscapes. That is what my team and I have been working on with GeoSwap, an application that shows people what is going on in a specific location and also allows for a further level of engagement with each of these individual events by having unique features that people can then unlock when they get there.

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For this reason, GeoSwap is partnering with Technical.ly for Delaware Innovation Week 2016 (DIW), which kicks off Nov. 11 and goes till Nov. 19. We want to show the people of Wilmington and the rest of the state what amazing innovations and entrepreneurial ventures are happening within their city. We’ll also give them the ability to show everyone what they are doing and how Wilmington is the best place to be. With GeoSwap, each DIW event will have something extra for people to see, we want to make each city a treasure hunt, and each person an adventurer.

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