MeetMe iPhone app solves pesky problem of finding a meeting point

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Finding an appropriate and convenient place to meet a business partner, friend or stranger can get pretty time-consuming. Ann Arbor-based iPhone application publisher Basara is trying to solve that problem with Meetme. It’s a fairly simple solution: the app combines Google Maps with Yelp recommendations to suggest a handful of meeting points between two locations.

Suppose you’re trying to meet a business partner between San Francisco and Palo Alto, Calif., and you have a hankering for Indian food. MeetMe will find the halfway point between the two places then pull up the most highly-rated Indian restaurants from Yelp near there. (When I tried this example, the app suggested five options in San Mateo.) You pick the most attractive options and then the app e-mails both you and your partner driving directions. If you want to move the meeting point closer to you or to your partner, there’s a sliding scale on the app that lets you fix that too.

Basara charges $1.99 for the app and has no advertising on it. It’s the two-person company’s first project, but founder Greg Hammerman has a track record after creating and selling TechStreet Inc. to Thomson Reuters in 2003. The company has raised seed funding from a handful of investors.

I’m hard-pressed to come up with a competitor that does exactly what Meetme does. You could use a combination of Google Maps and Yelp on your own, but that would take a few more steps and some eyeballing to figure out where a halfway point is. There is an iPhone app called Meetways that finds a midway point, but it doesn’t make any location recommendations.

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