Innovation That Matters

Crowdsourced ski reports bring transparency to the slopes

Work & Lifestyle

Transparency tyranny has already forced countless industries to be more honest, as we’ve been documenting for several years. The latest to succumb? Ski resorts, which were shown by a recent Dartmouth study to exaggerate their snow conditions on weekends by as much as 23 percent in the hopes of attracting more skiers. Thanks to a free iPhone application, however, skiers need rely on the resorts’ own reports no more; instead, they have access to real-time reports from their peers. Available both as an iPhone app and as a Google Gadget, Ski Report lets skiers view and publish first-hand ski reports and photos right from the slopes. They can track their favourite trails at a glance, as well as locating nearby ski areas via GPS coordinates. Powder points highlight areas with the most snowfall, while live ski area cams and weather forecasts for ski areas are also available. The iPhone app and Google Gadget cover ski areas within the U.S. and Canada, while the website includes 700 areas worldwide. It should be noted that there are also related apps out there from brands such as REI, whose interest in the community is certainly understandable. Seems to us, though, that the ones who really ought to be sponsoring this kind of thing are the ski resorts themselves. The Dartmouth study found that resorts exaggerated considerably less after the Ski Report app came out, and that the improvement was most evident at resorts with good iPhone reception. Had that improvement been at the resorts’ own initiative, they could have been the ones to lead the innovation rather than being forced to follow along behind. Dispense with the deception, embrace openness and community instead, and make the transparency triumph your own! 😉 (Related: Mobile apps hit the slopesSki lift tickets at a discount.) Spotted by: Rick Noyes



Download PDF