What is Kolea?

Kolea is the outcome of a project to enhance individuals' engagement with the world beyond their screens. Our intent is to create a tool that encourages users to spend less time tapping on their phones and more time immersed in real-world exploration. For this reason, you may have noticed that Kolea doesn't do much when you're sitting around. At most, you'll be able to read about your current location and set the stage for upcoming trips. Once you venture out, depending on the installed data packs, Kolea transforms into a knowledgeable companion, offering insights about the places you visit. Some of it is long and insightful, and some of it is brief and random. What can we say? It's a work in progress. If you found it interesting and has enriched your understanding or offered a fresh perspective, then we consider our mission accomplished.

For now, the data packs available in Kolea are best suited for long-haul trips that cover a lot of ground. Eventually, we hope to develop additional local content to help people explore their cities, towns, parks, and other local attractions. We also plan to introduce premium, paid content to help cover development and maintenance costs, particularly if these costs become more substantial.

It is also essential to recognize and express our heartfelt appreciation for the invaluable contributions made by countless Wikipedia editors over the years. Their generous efforts in creating the content that forms the foundation of much of what you hear and read within Kolea (at least for now) have been instrumental to the project's existence. We extend our sincere gratitude to each and every one of them. Thank you.

Is Kolea free?

Yes, Kolea is completely free! We believe in respecting our users and their privacy, which is why you won't even find any ads within the app. It's fully functional right from the moment you download it, offering a variety of free data packs for your exploration. While our commitment is to keep Kolea fully functional for everyone, we do plan to introduce premium, paid content to download in the future. This is aimed at supporting the ongoing development and maintenance costs, especially if they become more substantial. Rest assured, there will always be free content available for users to enjoy.

What does the name mean?

"Kolea" is the Hawaiian name for the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), an incredible little bird that makes an annual migration from Hawaii to Alaska and back. That's a 3,000 mile journey with no stops, twice a year, which takes them about 3 or 4 days at an average speed of about 50 mph.

What's the plan for Kolea's development?

In the near term, our focus on Kolea's development involves polishing the app to ensure a seamless user experience. Our goal is to release a fully-featured, bug-free version that we feel comfortable calling a stable release version.

In the long term, our aspirations include continued expansion of the data catalog. We envision enriching the user experience with more local content, featuring immersive walking tours of cities, as well as incorporating international data (beyond the United States).