Having just returned from a vacation, I’m in the midst of uploading videos and photos so I can send our visual memories of the trip to family and friends. But what if you could create an animated slideshow of sorts that would include an interactive map of your itinerary with photos, videos, Tweets, and even Foursquare check-ins from your trip? Tripline has launched to allow users tell a story of a trip by putting places, images and information on a map.
Tripline allows you to create an interactive, embeddable map detailing a trip using your destinations. You essentially create a timeline of your stops within a country or city and tag each stop with descriptions of your activities and include images as well. You can connect with Facebook to add any of your friends who went on the trip with you. And you can create maps from just your Foursquare checkins and or geo-enables Tweets.
The most obvious use is to be able to share itineraries and trips with anyone easily and visually. The map becomes an animated destination for not only seeing where a friend travelled, but also a way to find out what they did in a particular destination. You can also create trips from past historical events such as The Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Founded by ex-Yahoo employee Byron Dumbrill, who headed product development for video editing service Jumpcut (which was acquired by Yahoo in 2006); Tripline was created when Dumbrill and his fiancee were planning a lengthy trip to Costa Rica. He wanted a way to visualize his travels to different parts of the country on a map, complete with information about where he was going to stay, see etc. And when he returned, friends wanted to see Dumbrill’s itinerary and photos, which he incorporated into an interactive map. The idea for Tripline was born.
Tripline is also monetizing through sponsored trips from travel planning companies (such as GAP Adventures). GAP has created sample itineraries and Tripline users can book a trip through GAP on the site, allowing the startup collect an affiliate fee.
Of course, Tripline isn’t the first startup to try to meld social, recommendations and travel into a package. Nextstop, which was recently acquired by Facbook, allowed you to create interactive travel guides. Ruba, whose team left to work at Google, also aimed to create an in-depth platform for travel recommendations and itineraries. Where I’ve Been has a related offering for Facebook. And of course there’s online itinerary creators NileGuide and TripIt.
While the online travel space is filled with a number of worthy competitors, Tripline’s platform is actually compelling because it is fairly easy to use. Of course, Tripline’s main challenge will be attracting users to its platform. But the startup will be launching a companion Facebook app soon, which could help Tripline gain a larger following. And Dumbrill says that Tripline allows users to chart and record an itinerary both in the planning process and post-vacation, in the sharing process.