What happens when a former U.S. intelligence and geospatial professional teams up with a marketing and business self-starter, and engineering superstar? Geospatial magic!
We got the chance to interview the brains behind the geospatial Seattle-based mapmaking operation that is Proxi. Texas natives and co-founders, Chelsey Roney, Melinda Haughey, and Maddie Clayton have worked hard over the last year to bring consumers what they NEED – accessible mapping and crowdsourcing geographic data for everyone.
What is Proxi?
Proxi is a web-based platform that allows users to quickly create and share custom collaborative maps.
How did Proxi start?
We officially launched fall 2021; however we were inspired to create Proxi during Halloween 2020 after seeing people posting their addresses in neighborhood Facebook groups offering Covid-safe trick or treating. We wanted to compile these addresses and crowdsource an interactive master list of Covid-safe trick-or-treating homes to share with the community so we jumped in and built a map the community could share and add to. The map was shared around until over 2,000 Seattle-area homes were listed and over 500,000 people viewed the map. People started asking us to build other maps, and we realized the demand for custom, crowdsourced maps pushing us to start building Proxi!
Who is Proxi for?
Proxi is for everyone – it’s super user-friendly, and you can create a detailed map in just minutes! However, it can be especially helpful for anyone planning a road trip, wedding, destination event etc. It can even be nice to make your own map of local favorites (restaurants, places to stay, things to do, etc.) to have on hand when friends and family come to town. There are so many ways to utilize Proxi as both a mapmaker and map-viewer.
We’re also seeing a lot of growth in business sectors, like hospitality, where maps and connecting people to places and points of interest are an essential part of their customer experience.
Is Proxi free to users?
Yes! Proxi is 100% free. We are experimenting with business pricing for those who are looking to make maps frequently or need advanced support.
Why use Proxi and not other GIS’s (geographic information system) like Google My Maps or MapMe?
Proxi is making maps cool! It’s web-based and easily accessible, aesthetically customizable and it allows for instantaneous collaboration. There are so many reasons to use Proxi over other GIS’s:
Proxi is much simpler to get input to your map from friends, family, experts, whoever you share the map with! With Google My Maps, the admins or creators of the maps will spend a great deal of time using it as a crowdsourcing tool: gathering input from friends, family and others. It will require a combination of Google Forms, Sheets and Maps to import locations. Additionally, there’s no ability for a dynamic update. Google My Maps is okay for static maps of well-mapped areas where you are not seeking ideas or input.
Proxi also offers real-time map updates. For example, if I’m at a wedding in Maui and have lunch at a great spot, I can add it to my sister’s “Hotspot” wedding map of Maui for everyone else to enjoy too.
It’s fun and fast (we’re talking minutes) to make and contribute to Proxi maps, because it’s so much simpler!! Proxi maps are like the Canva of maps, they are so much more beautiful with cuter icons and brandability / customizability so you can make the map colors, header icons custom to match your vibe/company/etc, allowing people/companies/businesses to carry through that thread of detail.
With Proxi you can “feature” points, making sure the most important events stand out.
> These maps are web-based, so there is no need for an app.
> Updating and maintaining your maps are much easier than other GSI’s.
> Shareability is super easy – text, email, embed the maps
> An “Accounts” feature has now gone live, where you can log in and see all of the maps you have made as well as bookmarked.
Cover image courtesy of Unsplash
Visit https://www.proxi.co for more information and to get started on making your customizable maps. And be on the lookout for our own maps made with Proxi’s GIS technology!
A Texas native, Katt Noble is the Digital Intern of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.