LIQMAP – eLiquid Location App
iPhone App – 99-cents
Imagine you’re out of town, maybe in the same state or across the country (or in the UK and other European countries), and you need a bottle of eliquid but you have no idea where to find a store that sells the stuff. Well, there’s an app for that. And it’s off to a great start.
LIQMAP is an Apple iPhone/iPad app by a company of the same name. It will tell you, wherever you happen to be, the location of the closest shop where you can purchase eliquid. Simple, fast, and amazingly accurate considering the fact that new vape shops open every day. It’s available on iTunes for 99 cents, and if you buy it I’m betting it will be the best buck you spend today.
Here’s how it works
Launch the LIQMAP app and bring up the map. It will use your current location to set a starting point. You can adjust the size of the area that you want the app to search, then click the search button and all the locations where you can pick up some much needed eliquid appears on the map. By touching the shop’s icon you get its name and location at the bottom of the screen. Touch the name of the shop and it brings up a detailed map, the shops address and phone number along with 3 icons underneath. With a touch of an icon you can call the shop, get driving directions to the shop, and, if applicable, bring up their website inside the app.
I got in touch with the owner of the company (and chief programmer) to talk about LIQMAP, and below is the conversation I had with “Richard”. Before you read it here’s my assessment of the app as it stands today.
LIQMAP works, and works well. That said there is always room for improvement. Faster map loading, GUI tweaks, more and more locations, and things like that. But, it does the job nicely today and I’m happy I found it.
Since I moved back to New Hampshire I have not found any vape shops nearby so while I was testing the app I discovered a shop next door to the Steeplegate mall, a place I haven’t been to in almost 5 years, but a place I thought I knew like the back of my hand. Now, because of LIQMAP I know where the closest one is (XSmoke Vape Smart) and Angel and I are planning a drive down over the weekend.
Buying Advice – Definitely buy the app if you have an iPhone. Not only will it come in handy for you but also it will show Richard that there is a need for this app, and it will provide much needed funding, and moral support, so he can continue to improve the app.
You’ll read in the interview below that Richard has a solid roadmap for the app and with your help he can get there faster. Wouldn’t you gladly pay a dollar to know where you can buy eliquid no matter where you are?
Spinfuel: Hi, Richard, why did you decide to write an app like this?
LIQMAP: In August this year I visited Florida for two weeks. After a few days my liquid supply was exhausted and I had to find an eliquid store nearby. That was the moment I wished there was be an app to locate eLiquid stores in my area. Because there wasn’t an app I had to do a search on Google / Google Maps to find a store. If you are in a location you don’t know very well this really can be a difficult task. So I knew an app like this could work.
Spinfuel: Did you write the app yourself, or did you outsource its development?
LIQMAP: Yes, basically I did all the work. But because I did not want to reinvent the wheel, I used certain frameworks which where released by other developers. I also had to collect the stores on my own – but now on a friend of mine help’s me keep the database up to date. We have more than 3000 entries so far.
Spinfuel: How did you gather the store names and locations?
It must have been a massive undertaking.
LIQMAP: This is true. I did my research on different forums, Google and Facebook to collect them. By now most store entries are up to date, there are some entries we need to update – but this is normal with such a big database.
Spinfuel: How long does it take, usually, for a new vape shop to find its way into your app?
LIQMAP: I add or edit every shop in the database within 24 hours. New shop entries will automatically download to the users iPhone when the user goes online and starts the app. (New entries are “pushed” to the app) so users do not have to download a new update on the app store, it’s done for them.
Spinfuel: If a user of your app knows about a vape shop that’s not in your database can they submit through the app or email?
LIQMAP: Sure. To add a new shop that is not in our database, you can visit our website at www.liqmap.com. There you find a contact form where you can tell us the shop name, the website URL, the address and some additional information. Users can also write me an email to [email protected]
In the current version of LIQMAP we have integrated a Contact Us link that users can use to send us information or tell us how they like the app.
Spinfuel: How do you verify each store and its location?
LIQMAP: To verify a shop, I take a look at the stores website and check the address(es) and news section. I also try to find a Facebook page. If shops close their doors or change their address(es), they often inform people about it on Facebook, and we check them constantly.
LIQMAP: As soon as I know that a shop has closed I delete the shop from the database within 24 hours.
Spinfuel: Do you list full service vape shops or are ‘convenience’ stores included? In other words, chain drug stores in the US all carry cig-a-likes, or disposables, are they listed as well or is the app restricted to the shops that sell only vaping supplies, kits, attys, and so on?
LIQMAP: I added all the stores where you can buy eLiquid, no matter if this is their main or secondary business. In the near future I would like to limit this to full service vape shops only.
Spinfuel: How can vape shop owners contact you to submit their details for their shop so they can be listed in the app?
LIQMAP: They can visit us at www.liqmap.com and use our “Add Store” form or write us to [email protected]
In the next app version the users can add shops directly from the app.
Spinfuel: Are you planning on adding notifications of new vape shops that open in a users vicinity? Or perhaps a notification when a shop closes (when you hear about it of course)
LIQMAP: Oh, this is a very good idea. I will keep this in mind!
Spinfuel: How often do you plan on sending out updates to the app?
LIQMAP: This really depends on the reviews and wishes of the users. I already have plans for the next version which I want to release later this this year.
Spinfuel: Tell us about your central database.
LIQMAP: LIQMAP has a central online database hosted on a fast dedicated server in Europe. All changes are immediately displayed on the users iPhones. If the app is successful in the USA, I will add another server location in the US, so that US users can get their results even faster.
Spinfuel: Can you tell us about upcoming improvements or new features planned, or would that compromise your development roadmap?
LIQMAP: Of course. In the next version I will add, “grouped store markers” for the map section. Because there are more than 3000 entries now, the movements on the map can be a bit slow when you zoom out very far. I will also add an “add store” feature and an improved map view. The last feature I want to add in the next version is an improved search function.
Spinfuel: LIQMAP is available today for 99 cents USD. Is this an introductory price or is it the standard price? (We think it’s a great deal)
LIQMAP: Thank you – 99 cents USD will be the standard price for the next several months. I will also announce “free download“ campaigns on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/liqmap) (Go Like this page folks! – Dave)
LIQMAP: For now the LIQMAP app is available for iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, and iOS version 7.0 and up, it works fine with iOS 8. An Android version is in the works now.
Spinfuel: Well, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Richard. I think the app is a great idea and I hope you get thousands of sales very soon.
LIQMAP: Thank you for the opportunity! I am so happy that you like the app.
So there you have it. I really do love this app. I spent a few hours just dinking around looking at all the vape shops across the country. It was fun to see them all, and pretty amazing too.
I know that there are a couple of shops in Port Saint Lucie Florida, where Spinfuel HQ is, that are not yet in the app, so I can assume LIQMAP is not yet at 100%.
But I told Julia to use the Contact Us button that opens the iPhone mail app with their email address pre-populated, and let Richard know about them.
When you buy the app and you know of a shop that hasn’t yet been included you too should send them an email and let them know, or visit their website. If everyone that buys the app pitches in we can all help LIQMAP become the de-facto vape shop locator around the world. You’re not just helping LIQMAP get better you’re providing a service for fellow vapers. Now that’s worth a buck, you know it is.
– Website: www.liqmap.com
– Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/liqmap
– iTunes URL: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/liqmap/id916219403