It’s no longer enough to hand out printed maps —though those are still appreciated by many travelers — and hope that a static piece of paper will lead tourists to your door. Travelers want to know everything to expect in and around a place they’re going and where they’ll be in relation to where they’re going next.
These five startups seek to put an increased and smarter sense of direction in travelers’ hands that can provide them with inspiration and familiarity with an area they’re visiting.
>>Citymaps is a site for travelers to search, save, and share points of interests. Citymaps also provides data including information on venues, users, and user maps to businesses through its API, and Android and iPhone apps are available.
SkiftTake: Citymaps’ user experience seems a lot like a meshing of Google Maps and Yelp which is relatable to many travelers. Its B2B component could help cushion any early adoption problems with consumers.
>STAPPZ helps travelers save photos of their trips and creates a map displaying where the photos were taken. Stappz also hopes to use this technology to create travel itineraries for destinations to show travelers real-time photos from specific places.
SkiftTake: Real-time is key in a fast-paced social world but won’t be easy for STAPPZ to pull-off considering all the other ways people can currently do this.
>>Cartogram helps travelers find things to do indoors with live, interactive, and searchable indoor maps. It also integrates with Google Maps and has the option to add beacons to send targeted offers to nearby smartphones.
SkiftTake: It only makes sense for beacons and mapping to be linked, and if a user receives a targeted offer via a beacon they’ll need to know how to find their way to the store.
>>Natural Atlas offers travelers guides to more than one million campsites, hiking trails and other outdoor destinations across the U.S. Natural Atlas lets travelers edit pages about each trail or campsite with the hopes that information is as updated as possible.
SkiftTake: If Natural Atlas essentially wants to become the Wikipedia for outdoor travel it needs to ensure there are authenticity checks in place to monitor what content is published.
>>Orbitist is a tool for destination marketing organizations to help them visualize their attractions and offerings for travelers.
SkiftTake: Letting tourism boards embed content directly on their site that is interactive in the form of photo and video helps with mining important user-generated social media.