SpotWalla took its first breath at 1:02 PM on May 17th, 2008 from the top of the Talimena Scenic Drive in the parking lot of the Queen Wilhemena Lodge . I met some friends there to have lunch and to pickup our shiny, new SPOT devices. I did my research prior to leaving. At the time SPOT wouldn't keep your data for more than seven days and I knew I wanted to keep mine forever.
What SPOT did have was a way to email your location each time you sent an OK or Help Message. So I wrote a simple process to consume these emails, store the location data and display the locations on a map. I didn't know it was working until I stopped later that evening, but I pressed the OK button every chance I could in hopes of logging a decent track back to Kentucky. Here's what happened on the first SpotWalla trip ever recorded:
I liked it so much that I decided to let my friends in on the fun. I hosted the first site on a home-based computer and allowed friends to register and use the system. At the time, it wasn't called SpotWalla. It was called SPOT Trip Manager and it was open and freely available to anyone and everyone.
We've come a long way over the past 14 years. With the help and feedback from users SpotWalla has evolved into something special. It's a beautiful thing.
The internet was wild and quickly evolving back then. Resources were readily and, in a lot of cases, freely available. We knew it wouldn't last forever and it's certainly not the case now. SpotWalla has survived over the years through the generosity and support of its users. Donations have helped me keep my personal costs low and the system free for everyone.
And now it's time for SpotWalla to stand and survive on its own.
Starting on February 1st, 2022 SpotWalla will be a paid-for system. At that time, if you have a SpotWalla account with at least one device with at least one message, we will fund your account with its first $5. For most users this will last two and a half months or more and will give users plenty of time to get acquainted with the updates and decide if they will move forward or not.
We will always support organizations and events who need a way to track their participants. So if you're a user who wants to document their Iron Butt Association ride or participate in an event that uses SpotWalla, there will be a way to do that without incurring any costs. And if you're an event organizer, please contact me and let me know about your event so we can ensure you and your participants have the resources you need to be successful.
More information on pricing and funding can be found here: Help - Funding My Account.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, send an email to SpotWalla Support.