Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Just going to throw this one out there. I live in Lisbon, it's tourist-central (I'm from SF and I've never seen so many tourists). Since I see a ton of lost people every single day there should be a way to digitally leave comments on things and places and a free one-stop shop to find such info (like Wikitravel). This info, although having a central repository, should be pushed out to an app that connects to one's phone (in particular, GPS) so that when you need help with figuring out where you are, what statue you're standing in front of, etc, you can open the app and it tell you (no entering anything...only if you want to get to another location).

By entering what you want to do beforehand, the app would know where you are and have a list of places you said you want to go, and tell you how to get to the next closest place, or alert you if one on your list is about to close for the day. Perhaps each city version is done by locals and in case of bad actors, there can be a voting system so the right info goes to the top. Plus, there could be integration with Google Maps so you can see if you're going the right way.

Reddit for real places rather than links? Upvotes and downvotes, comments (with upvotes and downvotes). A search function (that actually works) laid over Google Maps rather than textual links? Interesting.

Yeah, that could very well work. It would need an app, though, and some Google Now-type tech.

There's a guy out of Brazil who has a site called Viagens Maneiras (aka Trip to Brazil) and he goes to different locations in Brazil with his dog and takes pictures and offers info on each place. At the bottom of each location page, he has tips listed. These tips are usually comments by his site visitors (on what to do, what not to miss, etc). Anyways, I'm imagining part of his site but with improved functionality and a redesign.

[1] http://www.triptobrazil.com/

I hadn't visited the site in a long time and it seems to have a few navigational issues (like two-finger scrolling on my track pad required my mouse to be on the text/picture area rather than anywhere on the page).

I thought reddit fixed its search function sometime in, like, 2010. What have you searched for recently that didn't give the results you were looking for?

(sound of crickets)

You are right. I was unjustly unfair, and my information is outdated. As a longtime user of the site, I suppose old biases die hard. Thanks for all you've done to improve things over there.

My friend created an app for digitally leaving comments, wasn't created with tourism in mind but it meets at least some of your criteria: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/footmarkz/id715107924?mt=8

I started on a similar idea in 2006, but wasn't good enough to execute it at the time.

My original idea was that you do it ahead of time. It would have general ideas of how long it takes to complete an activity and would essentially provide you a list of maps relative to your hotel. Then, you'd have that information beforehand on your smartphone so that you could avoid roaming charges (which is an issue for international travel.)

The revenue model was funneling to travel sites and possibly travel agents who could provide more customized itineraries.

But now, with OpenStreetMap, you could have an app on the phone. On top of it, it could use the GPS to figure out where you were and put together a slide show for your friends. You could rate when you were there and provide more feedback later if you wanted -- just a simple thumbs up/thumbs down.

I've resigned myself to never getting around to it -- If I'm to found a company, it's going to be in the b2b arena instead.

I really love this idea. Reddit-ish, but sort by proximity to location as well as quality score. That way, if you are in a densely commented area, you will see comments about your surrounding few meters/yards, but if you are in a less trafficked area you might see comments on your feed about something a few miles/km away, giving you a destination.

Rather than 'fencing' regions then, if it could be done to just sort proximity that way, it would be incredibly useful even while sparsely populated.


The other issue is what occupies people's hands. It's surprising for me to see how many tourists use traditional maps (though, on the flip side, one never knows when someone is looking at a map on their smartphone), and how many people don't ask passers-by questions in order to get help. A dedicated app would mean less happenstance intereaction while abroad but it would also help not waste time (and give more time for more sights to see).

Another HN commenter mentioned offline capability, in this sense it could be like Wikipedia's make an e-book function, where you'd get, in the case of my idea, the pertinent street view photos, together with the right info downloaded to your phone. For ex, "give me top 10 comments on the Mona Lisa, 5 levels deep and for the Moulin Rouge, which I'm more interested in, give me the top 20 comments, 10 levels deep."

If a 'chapter' is to be added while on your trip, because you heard about something new and cool, then all that's needed is a wifi connection to download the right info and add it to the multimedia 'book'.

Have it work offline to avoid massive roaming charges.

Get close to this with BLE beacons at travel points of entry?

I think it's being done by Caterina Fake's current startup: https://findery.com/

I'm not sure, though. The main page isn't clear about what it does exactly, and I haven't created an account.

Yes, I guess it does exactly same thing

I've used the tripadvisour app for this purpose. It can give you a list of attractions nearby.

That said there is definitely something that can be done in that space.

Really enjoy this idea, have implemented a similar prototype last year.

Another useful feature would be suggest me the best food list for the city I should eat.

I think someone made this with augmented reality. Don't remember name of app though, it was a few years ago. It let contributors have their own "streams" so at any given location you can focus on content by a certain user. Like following a tourist trail, or a scavenger hunt. That kinda solves the cluttered comments problem

I was thinking this exact same thing while traveling. Location based wikitravel essentially.

You got it, more than a Reddit-style thing, I think a location based wikitravel is what my original idea was leaning towards.

I always wonder. How do you get people to use these kind of apps? How do you cold start this? For people to use this, you need content. For content, you need people. Chicken and egg.

For geofenced commenting, how would you deal with the "BILLY IS A FAG" problem?

via comment voting


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact