The unexpected success of dwMap

Back on August 31st I shared that I had created a simple route map app called dwMap for Garmin’s popular line of GPS sports watches.


Since watches like the Garmin Vivoactive do not include the ability to show and follow a route, this seemed to satisfy an unmet need, but at the time I expected that just a few hundred runners and cyclists would find the app useful.  I was surprised and excited to see the number of registered users of the app (and its companion website soon climb pass a few hundred, then a thousand, and now to over 50,000!

Although the Garmin watches and fitness trackers are less well known than the Apple Watch or the Fitbit, they have several advantages, such as long (multiday) battery lives, true built-in GPS capabilities (you can leave your phone at home) and are fully waterproof.  New models such as the Vivoactive HR have heart rate sensors built into the back of them.  The Forerunner 735XT combines this with full multisport (triathlon) capabilities , while the Fenix 3 HR is both stylish and packed with hiking and skiing-specific features.

As time allows since August I have been working on adding features and interacting with an awesome community of users, and I will hopefully soon be ready to release a V2 with a set of really cool features.  I continue to use the app myself almost every day, whether I am just recording my activities (which sync automatically from the app to Garmin Connect and Strava) or using the route map to explore a new area.

Initially this was a hobby project to share with a few like-minded individuals, that morphed into a “Big Magic” creative project that I’ve devoted time and energy to simply for the joy of it, and who knows what might come next?