Nike Finds Route to Running Nirvana

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Nike "RouteFinder"
London runners have reason to rejoice, now that they can map out their ideal running routes through the British capital courtesy of Nike's RouteFinder. Created by the London office of AKQA, the groundbreaking new application fuses the popular interface of the Run London website with Google Maps to allow runners to create a personalized route, measure the distance, and share the route with an entire community of fellow on-the-move Londoners—all without having to get off your arse. "The idea is for RouteFinder to play a critical role in helping individuals succeed in achieving their running goals," says AKQA creative development planner Simon Jefferson. "It's an excellent example of a brand using technology to tap into the natural community its consumers form. Overall, online social networking is proving to be a vital component of any internet strategy."

RouteFinder's impressive networking component is made all the powerful with the addition of Google Maps' bag of tricks. Users can creating a new route by simply clicking points on a standard graphical street map or a highly-detailed satellite map—or a hybrid of the two. And the search function allows you to seek out previously created routes by postal code, distance, type of road, whether the terrain is flat or hilly, and even whether the route is well-lit at night. "Aesthetically, Google Maps is without doubt the best looking mapping solution on the market, and provides a great deal of flexibility at the API level," says Jefferson. "We're really excited about the emergence of a new wave of web applications like Google Maps, Google Suggest and Amazon A9. The potential is for brands to exploit these technologies to deliver a much more enriched experience to consumers. The future could see the development of rich internet applications for clients that leverage Google's API to deliver local directory and geodata sharing to web communities in addition to interactive mapping."
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