I see a ton of potential for expanding the Meet feature, specifically for last minute hosting, more spontaneous meetups, finding volunteer opportunities and what I want to discuss in this thread: adding dynamic location to enable killer features like “I am hitchhiking” and “I am driving”.
Basically putting travelers on the map.
Updating the input form
Currently the Meet feature has manual Location setting and Details (“What is this about” and “How long should this be visible”).
I suggest an addition to Details being a dropdown/toggle above the “What is this about” free text field which could initially include:
(or simply “I’m traveling” on a 1st iteration)
If hitchhiking or driving is chosen then rather than setting a manual location it will be set to the users current GPS location which will be updated every ~10 minutes (thereabouts).
“How long should this be visible” should also then be limited to something like 12 hours (after which they can be prompted to re-up another 12 hours if still moving).
Like Meetups currently, their (constantly updating) location can be represented on the map. An additional filter can then be added to the Search page:
How freaking amazing would it be to be looking at a map of all the currently active hitchhikers and hitch-friendly drivers in the world… like flight control!
Travelers dots could be their own color and perhaps have a car or thumb icon depending.
Of course in the free-text (“What is this about”) they could say where they’re going, say they’re willing to meet up, say they’re still looking for a host along the way or at their destination… people will get creative I’m sure and helpful features could be built around the most common behaviors in the future.
Thoughts on improving the feature over time…
Notifications can be huge, matching drivers with hitchhikers, alerting hosts of nearby hitchhikers or just notifying that another hitchhiker/traveler is nearby (go grab a beer!). Some of this may require more input fields (“destination” for example) or some math to determine general direction based on GPS history, but could get very interesting and wildly awesome.
I see a ton of potential and ways to expand this, but a simple first iteration alone would be cool and start to show how people use the feature to link up. It could even be simplified to “I am traveling” at first rather than broken into hitching/driving, users could explain their situation in the free-text and it could become more granular once more people start using the feature (also lets cyclists, walkers, etc join the party).