Tag Archives: business

Image Is Everything

Isn’t that what Andre Agassi used to say, somewhere between Brooke Shields and a crystal meth habit?
andre

Well, we needed to find an image. An image for which to build the Minneapolis Skyway App. Initial research left much to be desired, but gave us a building block. At the very least we needed a primitive guide to the eight mile maze in order to begin logging the hundreds of businesses…..and one public bathroom. Seriously, if you don’t want to have swing into Arby’s to buy a French Dip and Swiss Combo for $5.01 in order to get a bathroom token, you might want to check out the Minneapolis Skyway App. If not, you can pick up the App later and map your workout in order to burn off the 1100 calories you just slammed to get into the john. Back to the image, here is where we started. Our initial image we were running with was this one from the University of St Thomas.

Not exactly our everything, but free and good enough to get us logging some mileage and familiarizing ourselves with the belly of the beast.
We discovered the skyway has some maps of its own that were updated in July 2009. It really only complicates matters, especially when blocks are divided into buildings that aren’t clearly designated or marked. Where are you in that circle? Do they think you are the State Puff Marshmallow Man? Are you at the Orchestra Hall? Convention Center? or maybe you are somewhere at then end of the dotted line where it reads, “you are here.”

As we continued to log data through the skyway we stumbled upon Minneapolis Geographical Information Systems, or GIS. Destiny? I think so. They provided us with an image that is everything we needed to make a custom map fit and feel right for our mobile application. Check out our little preview of it below, and check the full version on the soon-to-be Minneapolis Skyway App.

Cost of Cartography: $135.79
Frypan

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Minneapolis Skyway App – For the iPhone

We are very pleased to introduce the Minneapolis Skyway app for the iPhone. Not in the AppStore yet, but we’re darn close. Coding is 90% complete, Design is 90% complete, and a large part of it rests on Apple’s shoulders once we officially submit it.

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The very talented Jane Mitchell of Rainbow Rabbit, having lived and worked in Minneapolis for a number of years, quickly grasped our vision. She knocked out a perfect design, and we’re pretty pumped to release this thing. Jane’s designed a number of other cool apps too; Shopaholic, Pet the Cow, gScale, and my favorite, eMaze.

emaze

The Minneapolis Skyway first opened in 1962, connecting the city’s first mixed-use building, the Northstar Center, with Northwestern National Bank across Marquette Avenue.

skyway

It has often been compared to a “habitrail for humans,” very similar to habitrail for hamsters. Every day hundreds of thousands of people use the Minneapolis Skyway; business professionals, travelers, vagabonds, street performers, and sometimes even Prince.

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Most professionals know how to get from their parking spot to their desk, and a few favorite lunch spots. Most suburban shoppers know even less than that. And out-of-towners are almost completely in the dark. The few maps scattered about are few and far between, not to mention dated. I mean, is the Target Center even still there? But at its very core, the Minneapolis Skyway is a thriving pedestrian, socio-economic ecosystem, replete with banks, clothiers, hotels, art, music, jewelers (LOTS of jewelers for some reason), food, and of course, PEOPLE! Oh, and our favorite hot dog stand, Franks a Million.

We hope our App will help you explore this crazy second story world with ease, whether you’re just looking for a super sweet gold chain, or want to browse the permanent Dale Chihuly Macchia exhibit at 225 South Sixth.

chi

The Skyway – By the numbers

Blocks : 70
Miles: 8
Bridges: 78
Businesses : 1000
Condos: 2000
Hotel Rooms: 4000
Pedestrians/Day : 200,000

Skyway Apps: 1

Frypan

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The Internet has Websites

When Al Gore invented the Internet in 1969, it was a jumbled mess of binary code, X.25 networks, bionics, and Google. At least that’s my understanding. In reality, the first internet “connection” was made through ARPANET on October 29th, 1969 between UCLA and Stanford Research Institute. There was one dude present to witness the event…and he looked like this:

ARPANET

1969 was full of historical moments; The Beatles perform their last live show, Phil Esposito becomes the first NHL Player to score 100 points in a season, Nixon becomes president, and Donald and Doris Fisher founded the GAP in San Francisco. I’m sure the importance of the ARPANET success fell somewhere between The Mayo Clinic’s first hip replacement and Seiko’s production of the first quartz watch.

Phil

The web didn’t really stumble along until about the 80s, with a website that many will remember as Cern.

Today, according to Royal Pingdom, there are almost 200 Million websites, with 31 Million new websites added alone in 2008. Well, the web just got one more (probably 35,321 more since I typed that last sentence).

Frypan Digital launched with probably the same fanfare as 1969’s Men’s Figure Skating Championship performance by Tim Wood. Obviously if you plan on building a product to sell, you must have a face for your business on the internet. I already own iWeb on the Mac, so all that was really needed was some time and $7.69 to secure a web domain from GoDaddy. I didn’t know how to use MobileMe to host multiple iWeb sites, but the fellas at New Mac User had excellent detailed steps on how to get it done.

Clearly a large company branding and marketing push is not in our budget, so I had to dig deep in the nether regions of my brain to pull out the design for the web site. The goal – a brief explanation of the business and contact information. Done.

And as you can clearly see, in comparison to Cern’s first website –

cern

Frypan’s is way cooler –

Total Annual Expenses:
$7.69

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