So many of our social media interactions can be tagged with location information these days. Wouldn’t it be cool if someone combined geotagged data from multiple sources to create your own personalized location diary? That’s what Esplorio, which launches today, has done.
Esplorio lets you connect your Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Foursquare, Google Latitude and Picasa data and browse through the days, months and years to look back at the places you’ve been and the media you’ve shared. In this respect, it’s similar to Memolane, the ‘social media memories’ startup that mysteriously shut down earlier this year, but with a strong emphasis on geography.
The Diary is the most straightforward offering here. You can browse back through a timeline, while the map adjusts to show where you went on any given day.
In addition to the simple timeline in the Diary view, there’s My Places, which shows you all the places you’ve been on a map, allowing you to zoom in on any location and see the media you shared while you were there.
Then there’s Trips, which lets you manually add the dates of a trip in order to see a neat ‘travel album’ of where you went and the photos you took.
In a nod to gamification, there’s the ability to earn Foursquare-style badges on your travels. If you’re based in the UK and travel to the USA, you’ll get a ‘Special Relationship’ badge, for example. This feature feels like an unnecessary bolt-on, but at this early stage the Esplorio team may as well try it.
The future of Esplorio is the future of you
For all its current features, the big vision for Esplorio isn’t just about where you’ve been. The UK-based team behind it see their revenue potential in the recommendations all this data can offer when it comes to future travel plans. If Esplorio can use all the data you’ve imported in order to offer really smart advice on where you might like to go in the future and what you’d like to do, it could really be on to something. Foursquare hasn’t been able to make this work to any great degree yet, but this is more about your next vacation than your next trip to a coffee shop.
In the meantime though, what we have here is a really nice way of exploring your past travels. The ability to import Google Latitude data is being limited at launch because anyone who has been using the location-logging service for a few years will have a huge dataset to import, something that will put a strain on the nascent startup’s servers.
I’ve been using Esplorio for a few weeks with Latitude connected, and it certainly adds a level of detail to my travel diary that the smattering of geotagged tweets, status updates and photographs I share, and even my studiously maintained Foursquare checkins, wouldn’t achieve.
However, Latitude data can be a little ‘dirty’ at times, logging you in places you’ve never been when, for example, you connect to a WiFi network that Google’s hotspot database has an incorrect location for. According to my Latitude data, I teleported from Austin to San Francisco for five minutes during SXSW this year and I apparently visited China for one minute in 2010. For most people, this is unlikely to be a problem though, and assuming everything you import is correctly geotagged, Esplorio works like a dream.
Still, a way to ‘clean up’ Esplorio’s version of your data seems like a no-brainer addition. Heavy tweeters such as myself could do with a way to hide their Twitter activity from the Diary timeline in order to make it easier to navigate, too.
What Esplorio has here is a quality first step on its journey towards becoming what could end up being a must-visit destination on the Web for your travel needs, both past and future.
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