seedlings

Now that the Fourth of July holiday has passed in the U.S. and much of the world is enjoying summer weather, we thought it was the perfect time to check-in on how summer travel is being made easier in 2016.

This week we’re spotlighting companies that want to get travelers outdoors and moving, and taking advantage of beautiful weather whenever they can. Running routes that tell a story of a destination and a bike ride mapping a street view experience of a bustling downtown are only two innovations that these startups hope will motivate travelers to explore as far as the summer sun will take them. Summer is the universal season of travel that makes many travelers want to create memories with the smartest technology that’s available.

RunGo is a virtual running partner providing turn-by-turn voice navigation for pre-charted running routes around the world. Many of the routes are hand-crafted by locals and provide a mini tour of the city pointing out cultural sites and landmarks along the way. Travelers can also create their own routes.

>>SkiftTake: Running is one of the best ways to explore a new city for the first time. With running stats provided and its offline availability RunGo empowers travelers to get exercise and ‘live like a local’ all at once.

Mapillary crowdsources street view photos. Using smartphones or other cameras travelers can collect photos that are combined into street view. Computer vision on the server-side automatically matches and combines photos across time and across users. Photos are processed to preserve privacy by blurring faces and license plates.

>>SkiftTake: Mapillary is an alternative to a technology like Google Street View and lets travelers help show destinations from their own angle. The company recently started using technology behind the scenes to detect which sequences were taken on a bike and which were taken in a car or by foot, allowing travelers to understand what kind of viewpoints they can have of a destination depending on their mode of transport.

Tentrr is an online discovery platform for the outdoors anchored by a network of privately-owned personal campsites. Users can either book a campsite or list their own space on the site. Right now it is focused mainly on the upstate New York area.

>>SkiftTake: A platform like this probably won’t work in urban areas due to lack of available space, and serenity that makes the camping experience. So while Tentrr loses urban markets for hosts it makes up for that with travelers looking to escape metro areas for the great outdoors and a campfire.

Halfway helps groups spread out across different cities determine the best destinations to meet up in. It’s designed for both friends and business teams, with a Halfway Slackbot available for teams to integrate with their Slack accounts.

>>SkiftTake: Planning group travel on your own is stressful no matter how you go about it. Showing groups where it makes sense to meet, rather than where they initially want to meet, may end up helping some budgets and reducing some headaches.

Sailo is an online boat rental marketplace that connects people who want to rent boats to boat owners and licensed captains. Boat renters submit a request to book and receive a confirmation from an owner within 24 hours.

>>SkiftTake: Travelers want fast responses when planning trip activities so Sailo’s promise to hear from an owner within 24 hours is one allure to using the platform.

For all of our SkiftSeedlings coverage, check out our archives here.