I have an idea: PetsMap

I have an idea: what if we make a special map for lost / found pets? If you lost your dog, you can just select a possible search area and when some finds your pet, he can contact you to tell that your pet is OK. People who often walk a dog can check the list of missing animals and if they see a missing dog, they can inform the owner. What do you think?

PetsMap,
a map of lost and found pets

It was many years ago… Winter, wild siberian frost… A girl hurries to training. It’s her job, she can’t be late. Near the entrance of an apartment building sits a kitten. What should she do? She has no time to return to the apartment, but she can’t just leave the cat on the street. So she just let the kitten into the warm entrance and run to work: if nobody shelters a kitten while she is working, this is her cat.

But when she returned the kitten was not there. What happened? Maybe some one took the kitten home, but what if some one just kicked him out, in the cold? She went outside: the kitten is nowhere to be found. But how can she be sure?

I know this story, because that girl wrote to me about this. She was sad: she knew that she could to save a life, but she did not do this. At that moment the idea came to my mind: what if we make a special map for lost / found pets?

The idea is simple:

  • If I lost my dog, I can mark the where it happened. If I know that my dog is afraid of roads and cars, I know a possible search area. I just select the area and post some photos of the dog with links to my profiles on social networks. If someone finds my dog, he will be able to contact me.
  • If I found a dog, I can just open the map to check all lost pets in my district. If I see a similar photo or description, I can contact the possible owner to inform him that his pet is OK.
  • People who often walk a dog in the district can check the list of missing animals in advance. If they see a missing dog, they can catch it and inform the owner.
  • Missing announcement active for a month, then you can restore or duplicate your note. If you found your pet, you can just close your announcement.

I am really sure that in theory it could be a really useful service, but I still see some possible problems:

  1. We need a map, but we have no time to make own one. It mean we should use third-party map service (for example, OpenStreetMap or something else). But let’s be honest: a services like this one work only if we have a lot of users, but if nobody use it, this is almost useless product. It just won’t work if it’s not popular.
  2. We need partners. I thought about 2GIS and Yandex.Maps. This is very popular map services in Russia and CIS. Yandex has a custom people’s map, 2GIS work with «layers»: free Wi-Fi, dangerous sections of the road, street webcams, etc. User can show or hide objects he needs / does not need. In theory our PetsMap can be just a layer for 2GIS map. In this case we do not need to think about registration: if you want to write a review you need to have an account on Flamp. It mean, you could use your profile on Flamp add a missing pet tag.
  3. If we want to release PetsMap a stand-alone service, we should think about registration and I think we should use popular social media: Facebook, Twitter, VK, etc. I think a link to profile is enough for communication. We don’t need to use phone numbers.

Why am I so sure that this is a really useful service? Because this spring Yandex and Purina launched a service with the same functionality. Their Pet Finder is already running for users from Russia, in theory you already can use it if you lost your pet, but… Today not so many people know about this and the service just can not work without users. You can write you lost a dog, but almost no one will see your note. I hope this is temporarily… I really believe that this is a very important and useful service and I’m happy that such a large company like Yandex realized this idea. And I still have a lot of cool ideas!

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