Thursday, July 12, 2007

LBS Use Cases - Hotel Finder and Cabbie Helper

So what I didn't say about the trip to Colorado was the nightmare return home. We arrived back at the Gunnison airport on Sunday afternoon several hours before our flight. This wasn't a big hit with Jess but I miscalculated the time of the drive for some reason. We checked in and hung out with the airport wifi and our computers while Tate watched some DVDs. About an hour before take off time we had some bad news that the flight was going to be delayed. We had a tight connection in Denver so this was some big time bad news.

The delay stuff was hanging over the whole time and it quickly became apparent that we weren't getting out of Denver once we arrived. At the airport it was a complete mess. Apparently Denver shut down for two hours or so for lightning storms and this killed the feeder flights coming in from the little towns nearby. The lines were out the door. If you have ever been stranded in Denver, then you know that the only decent hotels are about 45 minutes away in downtown Denver.

I had two bad nights in Crested Butte with a not so great bed and an upcoming cross country trip to NYC so I had to get a good nights sleep. I whipped out my Helio Ocean and pulled up the Google Maps application. I searched for Starwood, Hyatt and other chains that do a good job with the beds. I found a Hyatt Place hotel very close to the airport and called them. They had availability so I booked a room. This experience was so good I will follow up with another post just about this new approach to hotels later.

I hopped in a cab and said I wanted to go to the Hyatt Place at the airport. He was dumbfounded. Never heard of it. I whip out the phone and said here on the map, go here.

While in NYC this week I was playing with the Google Maps application again as I was plotting out my 5 meetings per day itinerary. I can't recall how many times in NYC I am asked about the cross street and I don't have it. 550 Madison? Madison and what? I don't know, I am from LA. Our numbers make sense there. Not this trip. Madison and 55th. So there. My favorite was a meeting in the East Village where I pulled the phone out and said look, this is where it is.

These examples are the kinds that make LBS compelling to me.

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