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Mapping the future – There’s an app for that

Meridian attorney turns being lost in The Grove into app for football fans

Holly Aldredge, a Natchez native and Ole Miss graduate who lives in Dallas, has experienced the frustration of trying to describe to those unfamiliar with the Grove in Oxford how to navigate the popular tailgating spot on football game days.

To newcomers, the Grove is a labyrinth of identical tents, similar sidewalks and general confusion, so finding one tailgate in the sea of thousands can be almost impossible.

Zach Jex, a Natchez attorney, came up with a solution last fall with his GameDay Map website that pinpoints the location of different tents on a map of the Grove.

“I absolutely love it,” Aldredge said of GameDay Map. “It’s so hard to explain to people how to get to the Grove and move around. It eliminates having to call people to give them directions, which is good because cell phone service on game days in Oxford is nightmarish.”

Jex debuted GameDay Map mid-season last year. A few weeks ago, he assigned the rights to the website to FlyLogix, a Jackson-based mobile application development company, in return for future profits.

The company has big plans for GameDay Map that include expansion into events other than Ole Miss football games and the development of an app for smartphones and iPads.

“We saw an opportunity to use this type of technology and we have broadened it,” said Ed Yelverton, of FlyLogix.

Musice

Musice

Before FlyLogix takes the original concept and applies it to other large events — such as other tailgating areas at SEC schools, the NASCAR races at Talladega and the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee — where navigating a crowd to find a particular spot is difficult, GameDay Map will be turned into a smartphone and iPad application, with Beta testing scheduled to begin in October.

“We should be able to accumulate enough information with that, to make sure we can launch this nationally afterward,” Yelverton said. “Why not have an application out there that you can set up an event, invite people, communicate with people who will be associated with that event?”

Those expansion and development plans include event-based advertising to generate revenue. FlyLogix is currently pitching several state and regional corporations about the idea.

Here’s how it works: Once the mobile app is up and running, those using it to find a tent in the Grove, for example, will have to view an advertisement for an Oxford business before the map portion of the app pops up and the user geo-locates the location they’re looking for and is given directions how to get there.

Finding a specific tent in a specific location at the Grove on an Ole Miss football weekend in Oxford can be a maddening experience, but a new app from a Mississippian may have solved the problem.

Finding a specific tent in a specific location at the Grove on an Ole Miss football weekend in Oxford can be a maddening experience, but a new app from a Mississippian may have solved the problem.

“It’ll be people that like to advertise in the South,” Yelverton said. “For example, it will be people who will want people at Ole Miss to know who they are, that type of thing. And based on the geo-location feature, you can target that advertising based on that person’s location and the event. So that’s what’s clever about the whole process.

“There’s pieces of this that already exist, where you can geo-locate where you are. But it’s hard to fix locations. So when you look at the Grove now, it’s just a bunch of trees. But when you have tents there or at Bonnaroo or all the RVs at Talladega, when the advertisers or sponsors put up tents, you want to know where it is and how you can get there. And we’re going to do location-based advertising, so whenever you’re in a particular region of the country (the advertising) will be conducive to whatever type of event it is. The market is trending toward that in some respects with other applications, but nobody’s really doing what we’re doing as far as temporary locations (like a sporting event or a music festival).”

Said FlyLogix co-founder Austin Musice: “It’s all event-based, so when a particular event is over, you look at that map and it’s a blank field again.”

Jex originally developed GameDay Map out of necessity, but its popularity outgrew his capability.

“It was a good fit,” he said of his assignment to FlyLogix. “They can do a lot more than I can do on my own. It was tough to do, but I thought it was the right move. The entire conversation was based around me not wanting to give it up and trying to find a way that I could still help them out with things in the future. That’s how we came up with sort of a consulting agreement where I can be involved for a little while and see how they develop it and help them move forward with some ideas and market it some. They have a lot of really good ideas.”

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About Clay Chandler

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