James Mastrianni ’94, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., created the Lake George Boater’s Directory (LGBD) App 1.0, a boater-friendly app for iPhones, iPods, and iPads. Mastrianni spent his summers on Lake George, developing a love of the lake and of boating. It was on the lake that he obtained his boating license more than 30 years ago and he continues to vacation there.
He was fairly confident, then, that he was as familiar with Lake George. Yet, he still had trouble finding a landmark one day last summer and could not locate his coordinates via cell phone due to a weak signal. That is when the idea for LGBD was born; he thought, “There should be an app for that!”
Whenever he had a free moment, Mastrianni researched points of interest on the lake and geotagged and wrote a supplemental article for each of them. He entered this information into a custom-made database and constructed a prototype for iPhones.
The LGBD app runs on iOS software on iPods, iPhones, and iPads and functions as an informative locator for gas stations on the lake, restaurants accessible by docks, and emergency services. It also provides the weather and water temperature for the region.
“Offline mapping” is one of the key components and most important things about this app. Maps are preloaded into the LGBD program and are accessible offline. “Your current location is handled by a separate GPS antenna because there are times, especially in the middle of Lake George, when GPS will not display,” he says.
Another aspect of the app designed to make it easier to enjoy a day on the lake is the reservation feature. With the tap of your finger and the click of a button, you can make a reservation at any of the camping and picnicking locations on Lake George.
So far, the feedback on the app has been great. His first review on the Apple App Store gave it a five out of five. “This app is a must for boat renters and tourists!” the review says.
Mastrianni looks to the future with great optimism and explains that he is investigating other bodies of water for new apps to be added to his repertoire.
A Hobart graduate with a B.A. in sociology and music, Mastrianni was an Honors student and participated in jazz ensemble, vocal jazz ensemble, and student bands that included Cold Shot and Gooseberry Jam. He went on to earn his MBA from Cornell University.
Following graduation, Mastrianni founded a software company and ran his own consulting business. In 2008, he was recognized as one of the 40 under 40 Business Leaders by the Capital District Business Review. He currently spends his time managing a consulting firm that works with more than 2,600 elderly, disabled, and low-income families in Upstate New York, helping them find afford housing. He also records his own music in a home studio.
“Because of my liberal arts education at HWS, I learned how to think critically and utilize both qualitative and quantitative reasoning. The development of this app most definitely required the use of both perspectives. I would like to give kudos to Professors Spates and Harris in the sociology department for helping me develop these skill sets,” says Mastrianni.
In the photo above, Mastrianni rides with his daughter on Lake George.