These days, travelers with smartphones like to record and share images of their vacations on the web. It’s a happy marriage: they get the expense and interruption of actual travel and you get the pleasure of seeing amazing sights through their eyes. When you look at their photos, it’s almost like you are there: anyplace from Belarus to the banks of the Ganges.
Los Angeles-area software developer Scott Daniels connects extroverted travelers and their armchair observers and with his new iPhone app called HipGeo.
This free app, which launched in January 2012, makes it easy for people to automatically record their travels in a blog format. The user fires up the app to start a “trip” or a series of automatically logged entries; while the app is running, it uses iPhone’s geolocation to map the user’s movement. When the user snaps a photo with the phone, HipGeo inserts it into the timeline of the trip which appears on the app and the website. The timeline becomes a virtual travel blog which the user can later convert into a video.
Although the app has been out only a few months, it already has posters in 125 countries. “It’s really fun,” reports Daniels. “I see people who are in Saudi Arabia following a guy in Thailand. I made a friend in Azerbaijan! I could never have reached across the world like this without HipGeo.”
The best thing about the app, Daniels enthuses, it that it automatically “curates” the entries, tagging them not only with the user’s title but also with location: city, country, and, in the U.S., with state name. Click on the “Explore” tab to search locales. “It’s great!” Daniels exclaims. “We already have 5300 cities and points of interest.”