Home Smart 100 2011 MapWheel (SMART 100)

MapWheel (SMART 100)


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The following SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity. More about the SMART 100.


This innovation initially came to life when…

Russell Bolden of Glenbrook, NSW, had one those light bulb moments after a visitor to his home asked what direction the township of Katoomba was as they looked out over their spectacular view of the Blue Mountains. This was a question he had been asked by others too many times before without ever being able to give a satisfactory answer. The eureka moment was thinking of a direction plaque (as commonly found at lookouts) and then Google Maps and how the two could be brought together. This marriage conceived the first MapWheel which is now proudly adorning Russell’s outdoor table.


The purpose of this innovation is to…

…modernise direction plaques and make them accessible to everyone. We want the user to personalise their MapWheel by including locations that are significant to them such as their birthplace, favourite holiday destinations and the location of friends and family.

It does this by…

…a website featuring a user-driven configurator that interfaces with GoogleMaps. The user selects a ‘home’ location and then points of interest. A graphic of the MapWheel displays the direction pointers and distances and allows the user to label the pointers in any way they choose. Once complete they can order their design engraved in stainless steel or coloured anodised aluminium.


This innovation improves on what came before because…

…there is currently no online service where the user can custom design and order a direction plaque online. Direction plaques until now have been confined to public places where the points of interest can be seen. We are broadening their application by suggesting a MapWheel can be used at home, the office, cafes, hotels or just about anywhere.

Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…

…being able to make their MapWheel customised — they get to choose locations that are meaningful to them. They also get to personalise their MapWheel by choosing a colour, a font, a decorative border pattern and even a personal message.


In the past, this problem was solved by…

…local councils and National Parks consulting with a surveyor who would use topographical maps to manually collect the coordinates and distance information for the points of interest. Then a draftsman would design the direction plaque using that data and finally the direction plaque would be manufactured by a metal engineering shop.

Its predecessors/competitors include…

There is no known competing online service that allows the user to design and order a direction plaque online.


It is made for…

…both the home consumer and business market. We believe a MapWheel can be for anyone whether they live in a location with an interesting outlook or not. We want people to personalise them by including the location of places and people that are significant to them. MapWheels will potentially have great appeal for business such as cafes, restaurants, hotels, resorts, waiting rooms, etc. For example, imagine a MapWheel mounted on a cafe table or on the balcony of a resort room — providing interesting and useful information about the surrounding area. There is also tremendous opportunity in the gift market.


It is available for sale through…

mapwheel.com exclusively.

Our marketing strategy is to…

…use traditional online marketing tools such as AdWords with a strong focus on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The website will allow users to share their MapWheel design by posting it to their Facebook page. Every MapWheel will display “mapwheel.com” so as they penetrate into public space they will be self-advertising.



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