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Travelers may spend many hours researching and booking their trips, but it’s mobile devices that fuel much of the discovery after they’ve arrived in their destinations.
Mapping is becoming an even stronger pillar of the travel industry than it’s traditionally been. Big Data has made location-aware technology and services critical to knowing what’s relevant to travelers based on where they are in their journeys. With TripAdvisor’s acquisition of mapping startup Citymaps earlier this month it’s still clear major brands are hungry for more solutions that will help them tap into location-based marketing.
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.
Velvet Ropes is a celebrity homes locator and mapping tool that helps travelers find where celebrities live in Los Angeles. It also offers custom tours and plans to expand to more cities.
>>SkiftTake: Travelers would love an app like this, but will celebrities really stand for another hack that helps tourists and paparazzi find them?
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.
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.
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.
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