Welcome to RoadGoat! We’re so excited that you’ve made it to our website. Many have asked how RoadGoat started and what our vision is, so I figured I would share more here.
Just an idea
At my last job, I built out new ventures in SmartCities - the intersection of cities and technology. I found myself fascinated with geographic data and how it has evolved with the emergence of the Internet of Things, such as connected cars, smartphones, or exercise trackers. Connected devices have also sparked a digital revolution in the Quantified Self movement, with such platforms such as Fitbit, Strava, Apple Health, and other personal dashboards. These platforms try to incorporate technology into measuring a person's daily life.
I started RoadGoat as an experiment to gather all the countries, states, and cities I had ever traveled to - and to do so in automated, interactive, visually beautiful way. I thought about two possibilities:Create an app running GPS in the background to record a locational history ORExtract location from check-ins on Facebook and other accounts
The last thing most people want is a power-hungry app logging your location at every moment - so I went with plan B. Today, it’s very easy to connect to and retrieve your activity from most of your web-based accounts through application program interfaces (API’s). By this time our team had grown and we started allowing people to pull their data from Facebook, FitBit, Foursquare, and Instagram. What didn’t come in through partner data we filled in with a fun and interactive map. And voila, so began RoadGoat 🐐!Get started
But then we discovered something
Although our original intention was mapping travels, we quickly realized our users’ data was surfacing spectacular lists of best destinations to visit, and that we could start to group these destinations by what they offered or what type of person liked them. As we grow, we’ll use this foundation augmented with artificial intelligence (AI) to match users with the best places to go next - just as Netflix does with movies.
Privacy: Lead by example
We started building RoadGoat right about the time that Facebook had its big privacy blunder. We saw how Facebook and other companies were misusing data and decided we want to create an app that has serious privacy standards from the start. In addition to giving users control over who can see their content, we go a step further to limit any information anyone would want to get a hold of. For example, if you write a Facebook post about a cafe in Paris and you import your Facebook travels to RoadGoat, we will record that you have been to Paris and will immediately discard everything else. This is a critical difference in philosophy from other websites - even if your RoadGoat data was broken into or subpoenaed, there wouldn't be any specific data about your whereabouts.
Where we see this all going
Today’s RoadGoat is only the beginning. GPS is only getting more widespread, so we will soon have even more devices to connect with. We’ll connect to watches and vehicles, automatically marking cities you visit and at the same time suggesting nearby things to do. As we make those suggestions, we’ll also offer seamlessly integrated travel booking. Unlike other travel booking sites, RoadGoat has the benefit of being with the traveler as they’re deciding where to go, so users won’t have to switch to another platform to hunt for bookings.
Please take a look around (pardon any bugs) and have fun! 😎 Afterward, we would love to hear your thoughts. What is useful, annoying, or would be most valuable to add?Check out RoadGoat