SpotWorld: Crowd-Sourcing Customized Travel Guides
SpotWorld is a new mobile app created to make sightseeing a location-based, social experience. The app lets users create and share itineraries to make the most out of vacations. The mobile format is perfect for finding local favorites on the go, and the interface and visuals make the app a breeze to use. SpotWorld’s check-in system and maps work anywhere in the world, so you can stop carrying around that copy of Frommer’s in your fanny-pack.
David BenBassett, Coordinator
SpotWorld is a new app that combines location-based information and social collaboration into a colorful, user-friendly package. Though it competes with giants like Foursquare and Gowalla, SpotWorld may be able to take check-ins to the mainstream by focusing directly on travel. SpotWorld puts a targeted spin on traditional travel guides1
by allowing users to build their own plan rather than choose from preloaded ones.
SpotWorld comes with the expected functions like location tracking and mapping, but the nicest feature is the ability to tap into a database of previously created itineraries. You can pull bits of information (even just one destination) and add it to your own plan, resulting in a fully customized schedule based on the opinions of other travelers. Each destination has its own guide that features pictures, tips, and a “community article” where users can collaborate, Wikipedia-style, on providing the most important facts about the feature.
Users will find other features to make traveling more fun. SpotWorld incorporates a point-and-ranking system to encourage continued use. Checking in rewards users with “miles” and “city status,” and higher status in more cities moves you up a competitive leaderboard. Also included is an applet called “Been There,” which maps out the places where you’ve checked in around the world. Users can share these maps on Facebook and use friends’ maps as another tool for finding new hotspots and travel tips.Implications and Action Items
SpotWorld is not the only travel platform out there, but it’s one of the few that is truly practical. Tools like this exist so vacationers can move away from big tourist traps and into the local favorites that provide a deeper cultural experience. Here are some tips for using SpotWorld and other custom travel apps:
Download Perspectives, July 2011
- Keep checking in. The beauty of digital travel apps is that they are constantly being updated. Check in often to find events and specials others are taking advantage of as they’re happening.
- Explore. While you’re checking in, see what’s nearby that others are talking about. Be flexible; local dives can give you a more authentic cultural experience than tourist traps.
- Think local. Exploration and adventure aren’t just for when you’re abroad. Apps like SpotWorld can help you find hidden gems in your hometown. Check out what travelers recommend for your area and go sightseeing at home.
(pdf, 956 Kb)1
Mashable. See the World and Plan Your Next Trip with This iPhone App. June 17, 2011. http://tiny.cc/xzpz9