A map spanning from 2022 to 2023

Cici·Dec 30, 2022·29 min read

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Hello, and welcome to exping's 2022 annual review.

If you're using or interested in learning about exping, you likely share our passion for experiencing, feeling, and exploring the unknown in the offline world.

You might also be on the lookout for a tool that allows you to collect and document everything related to the places you visit.

As it happens, exping fits the bill perfectly—it's a tool that uses maps as a "canvas", offering an innovative platform for creativity. And that's how our paths crossed.

We hope this year-end review will give you a deeper insight into the value exping brings and the story behind its creation.

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15 Updates and 7 Major Features

Since Exping launch on March 21, 2022, Exping has undergone nearly a year of iterative development, reaching users across 104 countries.

From version 1.0.0 to 1.3.1, we've released 15 updates, introduced 7 major features, fixed numerous bugs of various scales, and significantly optimized map editing and browsing performance.

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During this period, Exping has received several notable recognitions. These include being featured as the "App Store's Editor's Choice" in China, receiving a recommendation from Sspai (a popular Chinese tech media), gaining multiple recommendations from Pricetag, and being interviewed by 36kr.

We are incredibly grateful for everyone's continued attention and support for Exping over the past year.

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Throughout this year, we've also received a wealth of feedback and suggestions from our users.

Whether it's feature suggestions or various ideas about the product - both positive and constructive - we deeply value every piece of feedback we receive.

In our update logs, we make it a point to acknowledge the Exping users (whom we affectionately call "explorers") who provided support and feedback for each version.

It's through these conversations and exchanges of ideas that we continue to uncover new possibilities for Exping.

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Unleashing the Map Creator in Everyone

Exping was born with a unique vision: to transform maps into a canvas for creativity, offering an innovative platform for expression.

Throughout 2022, we've been laser-focused on enhancing our "map creation" features, which is evident in every major update we've rolled out.

Exping goes beyond simple location marking or route planning. We empower users to become true "map creators", enabling them to share their unique perspectives on locations and everything associated with them.

As our user base has grown, exping has evolved into an essential tool for personal and professional map-based organization for many.

Our public map gallery showcases a diverse array of user-generated content, often surprising us with creative uses we never anticipated.

Place Marking: The Heart of exping

Over the past year, we've significantly improved the performance of our core place marking feature, enhancing both the editing and browsing experience.

Users now have multiple ways to add places: searching, "long-pressing" on the map, and even attaching notes to each point.

This flexibility allows for more personalized and detailed map creation.

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Exping enables creators to curate themed collections of locations based on their interests, expertise, or experiences.

Users can add personal insights and descriptions, bringing these places to life within a cohesive theme.

  • Pet owners have created maps of trusted veterinary clinics, sharing genuine reviews and experiences to help fellow animal lovers.

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  • Themed maps for various events - from corporate team-building exercises to Web3 meetups and coffee festivals - have simplified event planning by visualizing places and key details.

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  • Hobbyists and enthusiasts use exping to document, categorize, and share locations related to their passions - whether it's hidden art installations, top-rated ramen shops, or scenic photography spots.

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Journey Mapping: More Than Just Routes

Every spot marked on a map holds a unique significance for each person - it's not just a location, but a cherished memory.

We aim to enrich these location snippets through routes, making each personalized map truly one-of-a-kind. —— From "What's New" v1.1.0

Since the launch of our route feature, we've expanded from 3 routes per map to 7, and increased the number of locations per route from 20 to 30.

Whether you're planning a leisurely short trip or crafting a detailed itinerary, our feature can accommodate your needs.

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In our public route maps, beyond the usual dining, travel, and self-drive routes, we've been pleasantly surprised and moved by many creative uses.

For instance, parents documenting hiking trails with their children, newlyweds creating wedding venue guides, pet owners mapping out their road trips with furry friends...

For these creators, these route maps aren't just a tool, but a way to capture precious moments.

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Routes aren't limited to personal leisure activities. Some creators have found innovative ways to incorporate them into their work, using exping's route creation to boost their productivity.

Examples include planning offline event routes, marking driving school practice routes, and mapping out bus lines.

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Personalized Icons: Make Your Mark

In version v1.2.2, we introduced a fresh set of emoji styles and expanded the selection. (You can read more about this in our previous article "World Emoji Day - Craft Your Map with Emojis")

With v1.2.4, we launched custom icons, allowing users to upload any photo as a location marker. This feature helps make your markers more relevant to your specific map scenario.


Map Styles: Your Map, Your Way

To meet advanced mapping needs, v1.2.3 introduced more map styles, including exping's exclusive minimalist design. (For more details, check out our article "Designer Talks: Creating the Unique exping light Map Style")

Our Christmas v1.3.1 update not only brought the "Merry Christmas" themed map, but also introduced "Winter Snow" and "Apple Style" map designs.

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All-New Web Browsing Experience

In the v1.3.0 update, we've completely revamped the web interface for our maps.

Looking back, web sharing was first introduced in v1.0.1. It started with the ability to copy links for sharing public maps, then evolved to include sharing of private maps, adding WeChat article sharing options, and introducing short link sharing.

The new version of web sharing shifts the browsing perspective from text and images to a map-centric view. This allows you and others to directly experience exping's map browsing mode, whether for personal work maps or travel itineraries.

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Sharing Posters

When exping officially launched v1.0.1, one of its main features was the "batch export" of map posters.

We've always been committed to creating "the ultimate map creation experience", enabling creators to "mark their own curated maps".

The foundation of curation lies in giving creators maximum freedom, allowing them to create maps that truly represent their personal taste and inspire the desire to share.

With this in mind, we've significantly enhanced the "sharing poster" feature in v1.3.0.

Now, creators can customize sharing for every aspect of their map creation - from individual locations and routes to the entire map - based on their specific sharing needs.

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2023: Discovering More Possibilities

In 2022, exping underwent a transformation from a "community" to a "tool", and we've been continuously exploring during this phase.(For more details, see our previous article "exping | How a map creation tool was born")

Reflecting on the iterations over the past year, we're more convinced than ever that exping should excel in its role as a "tool", helping everyone create better "maps".

In 2023, we aim to break conventions and uncover more possibilities for "map creation".

Map creation is no longer limited to individual efforts. It can now involve multiple people collaborating on the same map, making exping suitable for a wider range of scenarios and users.

We believe that map creation isn't just about recording where you've been - it can create value, both for individuals and teams.

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2023, Looking Forward to Your Map Creation

At the end of last year, we collaborated with 5 travel enthusiasts to create the "2021 Annual Travel Map".

These 5 adventurers shared their travel experiences during the covid pandemic in 2021, discussing the concerns and various challenges they faced while traveling.

The article concluded with the hope that "the pandemic would soon disappear, travel plans would no longer need to be put on hold, and we could once again freely venture out to embrace those long-missed landscapes".

We believe that in 2023, our travel plans will no longer be constrained, and we can freely embrace those long-awaited vistas.

Exping will be your companion as you traverse mountains, rivers, lakes, and seas, capturing everything from local beauty spots to far-flung destinations, and documenting your every journey.

In 2023, we eagerly anticipate your cartographic creations on exping.

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