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 search area and when some finds your pet, he can contact you to tell that your pet is fine. People who often walk with 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?

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 her work: if nobody shelters a kitten while she is working, this is her cat.

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 place where it happened. If I know that my dog is afraid of roads and cars, I probably know a 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 owner to inform him that his pet is fine.
  • People who often walk a dog can check the list of missing animals in their district . If they see a missing dog or cat, they can catch it and inform the owner.
  • Missing announcement is 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 our 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 works 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 don’t need to think about registration: if you want to write a review on 2GIS, 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 as a stand-alone service, we should think about registration, and I think we should use popular social media: Facebook, Twitter, VK, etc. I’m almost sure that a link to your 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 and, in theory, you already can use it to search for missing pets, 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, because I really believe that this is a very important and useful service. And I’m happy that so big company like Yandex realized this idea. By the way, I still have a lot of cool ideas!