Nomad Mobile Guides Blog

ABMC iPad App ScreenshotNomad Mobile Guides has been selected at the technology partner for a series of mobile apps and responsive websites for the American Battle Monuments Commission. ABMC manages all of the United States' overseas war memorial cemeteries and monuments. Nomad is developing the apps in collaboration with Dog Green Productions, a historical documentary media company.

Read our case study about the custom framework we are creating for ABMC using the Nomad platform.

Steve Kemp of the Great Smoky Mountains Association, David Poteet of Nomad Mobile Guides, and Tom McClusky of Digital Bindery presented a half-day workshop titled Bookstores Without Books at the Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL) national conference in March 2013. Participants learned about marketing and publishing digital content both as e-books and apps.

Steve Kemp presented some of the challenges and opportunities facing national park cooperating associations as consumers are increasingly using e-books and apps over traditional printed books. Cooperating associations operate bookstores in national park visitor centers, and generate a significant portion of their revenue from book sales. Many associations (like GSMA) are also publishers, writing and publishing their own books about their park. This year several of them are starting to experiment with digital publishing, and we expect to see this grow in 2014.

Tom McClusky's firm Digital Bindery provides "artisanal" e-book publishing services, focusing on a high qality e-reader experience. Tom walked participants through the e-book publication process, helping them understand the differences, limitations and opportunities with e-book formats. For example, publishers have to give up the idea of precise control over layout and fonts. Books that depend on rich visual layouts are harder as e-books, but Tom shared several good techniques for dealing with these limitations.

David Poteet demonstrated the unique advantages of apps and talked about situations where an publication may be more appropriate as an app than an e-book. David gave examples of how content can be better structured during the authoring process to make it easier to republish in digital. He then walked participants through the typical steps involved in creating an app.

Finally, the team presented strategies for marketing and promoting digital publications including the importance of building your own community of members or fans among whom you can promote your publications.

The half-day Bookstores Without Books workshop built on a 1.5 hour seminar taught by Steve, David and Todd Berger of Western National Parks Association the year before. It was expanded by popular demand. The session scored a 5.17 out a possible 6, with great anecdotal feedback from participants.

David Poteet, president of Nomad Mobile Guides, gave a presentation on the benefit of having both a mobile-optimized website and native apps for a destination. The presentation covered recent trends in mobile use related to travel and benchmark data for destination marketing organizations (DMOs). David shared data from Santa Cruz County, California, to give attendees a sense of how a regional DMO is serving the mobile traveler.

View the presentation and notes: Are APPS for SAPS?

Blue Ridge Parkway app published on Nomad platform

Nomad is proud to announce the launch of the Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Planner on the Nomad platform. The native app and mobile website was developed with the Blue Ridge Parkway Association in cooperation with the National Park Service. BRPA is the official partner organization of the Blue Ridge Parkway dedicated to providing tourism and hospitality information to the Parkway traveler.

We've had great response and downloads so far. If you have opportunity to travel the Parkway with app in hand, please tell us what you think!

Read more about the Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Planner on the Blue Ridge Parkway Association website.

Read the Roanoke Times article about the release of the Blue Ridge Parkway Mobile App.

Tnooz has posted a preview of a survey on business travelers and their use of mobile as part of their trip planning. Not surprisingly, over 80% of business travelers use smartphones for business during travel. The article clarifies the mobile needs of a business traveler and points out the importance of focusing on their personal location and situation.

Read the full post here:


Matt Simmons and I attended the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) conference this past July in New Orleans. During the "Everything Mobile Marketing Session," several DMOs shared their experiences with mobile websites, apps, games, including some helpful statistics for benchmarking and comparison.

Of particular interest was Visit Denver's experience with offering a mobile website alongside native iOS and Android apps. They found that the native apps generated much more usage than the mobile website, even though they have the same content and features.

I wrote a guest post for about the presentation, which you can read here:

ParkFinder Home ScreenWe're excited to announce the launch of a new app we have created for American Park Network. Oh, Ranger!® ParkFinder™ helps you find state and national parks across the US, based on location and the types of activities you would like to do. It's a whole new way to plan a trip or just find something to do on the weekend!

American Park Network has spent years developing this comprehensive database of every state and federal park (over 6,300) in the country. Each park has overview information, links to maps, websites and phone numbers, and is tagged with 20 major activity categories like Hiking, Fishing, History & Culture, and Golfing. Nomad Mobile Guides teamed up with the great folks at American Park Network to create the mobile experience for this rich resource.

Best of all, it's free, and all park information is stored on your phone for fast access with or without a cell signal!

Download ParkFinder free from the App Store.

Visit American Park Network at

As always, we'd love to hear your feedback. Please review the app after you've tried it out.

GSMA and Nomad at the 2011 APPL AwardsNomad's app for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, created in collaboration with the Great Smoky Mountains Association, won the award for the best multimedia project at the 2011 Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL) conference this past February. GSMA's app was selected from among multimedia projects across the entire national park service.

Congratulations to the Great Smoky Mountains Association, and thank you for your partnership with Nomad Mobile Guides!

Read about the rest of the award recipients.

Keen Communications

Keen Communications, the parent company of Menasha Ridge Press, Wilderness Press and Clerisy Press, has selected Nomad Mobile Guides as the platform to publish several of their books on mobile. Keen has a wide catalog of outdoor recreation titles perfect for mobile apps.

Travis Bryant, Keen's Director of Digital Products, said that Keen had evaluated a number of other solutions before selecting Nomad. “We just have so much great triple-checked [GPS-tagged content] locked up in books. I'm excited about the prospect of letting the content loose so easily on the iPhone.”

We're working together to bring these titles out initially on Nomad, with more to follow:

Keen Communications Website

Follow Keen on Twitter:

Nomad Completes Initial Investment Round

Blacksburg, VA, September 9, 2010 – Nomad Mobile Guides, Inc, developer of a software platform for mobile travel guides, today announced the completion of its initial angel investment round.

“This year we established our platform as the easiest way to publish mobile travel guides,” said David Poteet, President of Nomad Mobile Guides, Inc. “This investment enables us to enhance our product, to acquire and publish additional guide titles, and to enter other markets.”

Nomad Mobile Guides published the first National Park Service-approved smart phone guide with the introduction of its Great Smoky Mountains iPhone app. It followed this with the official guide to The Grand Teton National Park, and is currently working on other park titles for publication later this year including Yellowstone National Park. In addition to the national parks, the company has also partnered with Keen Communications and Avalon Travel to publish travel books for mobile.

The angel investment round was led by 460 Angels a seed and early-stage angel investor group focused on funding and coaching hi-tech entrepreneurs with scalable business models based in the New River Valley and Roanoke region of Virginia. As part of this round, Nomad Mobile Guides was selected by DayOne Ventures, an invitation-only seed and early stage investment and mentorship program for technology-based startups, for its enhanced early stage program.

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