Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cool New Ideas: Simpatigo and TravNotes

Keeping up with the all the new Travel 2.0 websites emerging every week would be close to a full-time job. I already have a full-time job that consumes a most of my time, so all I can do is squeeze out a review once or twice a month. The websites that I pick to review are those that I think are especially creative (giving me inspiration to write) -- and happen to arrive in my inbox or elsewhere when my real job gives me time to check them out.

Two sites that I learned of just today are Simpatigo.com and TravNotes.com. Both are in early beta, and their content and subscriber bases are under development. But I thought they provided creative new twists on current trends in Travel 2.0.


Simpatigo.com is another attraction mapping site designed to help you plan your trips. This is kind of like Venividiwiki.eu and maybe Rrove.com, both of which I reviewed earlier. The difference is that Simpatigo generates a Trip Itinerary that includes driving directions (common on most mapping sites) AND short descriptions of attractions that you will pass en route. The itinerary can then be printed out to take with you.

This is a cool idea, though its realization is still a bit rough (remember it is still beta). I entered an itinerary for a road trip I am planning for next year from Cincinnati to Toronto. My itinerary only included two attractions, in addition to the driving directions, even though there were many more within fairly short distance from the actual road I was driving on. I did not see a way to capture those additional attractions into the driving itinerary.

I would guess that this will be worked out at some point. Simpatigo currently has some 1600 attractions, mostly in the more populated regions of the US. Some attractions are being captured from major travel publications, while users can also add their own points of interest to share with others. It has a ways to go before its database is truly useful, but is a good idea that has potential.


TravNotes.com is a microblog for travel planning and traveling. I have not seen anything that quite compares, though perhaps the popular WAYNE.com ("Where Are You Now") offers something like this. For the uninitiated, microblogging was made popular recently by Twitter.com, which only allows 140 characters to each blog post. (Click here for my Twitter microblog.) Pownce.com is another microblog with some added features like photo sharing.

TravNotes is a microblog with features specifically for using before and during your travels, and perhaps to talk about travel in general. Each microblog can be categorized as for an "upcoming" trip, for current "traveling", as a public "question" about a place or trip, or a "general" other. Groups can be created from friends and posts can be limited or made viewable by everyone.

Again, TravNotes is new and its membership base seems to be modest right now. But if you like microblogging and traveling, then you may like TravNotes a lot.

1 comment:

Benros' Biz said...

I found your blog doing a web 2.0 travel search and looked in to some of your references. I just wanted to pass on the fact that TripSync is no longer in business. This is from their website:
"We regret to inform you that Portaga, Inc., the provider of TripSync, has ceased operations effective July 1, 2008"

Just as a side note, I was originally looking for travel 2.0 sites for my trip to Europe coming up this week. I literally just signed up for TripNotes and will give it a whirl but I've been using Twitter for some months now and you can follow me at www.twitter.com/ben10dough
Thanks!