Tourist Eye throws a rope to Nextstop refugees, before Facebook shuts it down

Facebook Places has been getting all kinds of attention for the last few days, a direction we knew it was heading with some of the social network’s latest acquisitions. You may recall one last month, Nextstop, the social travel recommendations site that Facebook swallowed in exchange for $2.5m to amass forces for their obvious bet on location. But this isn’t about Facebook at all. If you weren’t really paying attention to Nextstop, you may have not noticed that along with the announcement of being acquired, the company told their users that the lights would go out on September 1st. That’s just over a week away. Nextstop offered their users an option to export to Google Maps, Picasa, or a set of HTML pages or PDFs. Nothing really useful.

Seeing an opportunity, Tourist Eye, a similar social travel guides service for web and mobile, is launching a campaign for displaced Nextstop refugees who want something more than a PDF. Remember Jimdo’s lifeboat for Geocities orphans? Well, Tourist Eye is throwing out a rope to the Nextstop community so that they can migrate their full profiles and data to the new service, without losing anything in the process.

It would be a shame to lose over 50,000 places and over 100,000 recommendations says Tourist Eye. They claim to have built a quick and painless migration process: just introduce your Nextstop username and email, create your Tourist Eye account and they’ll migrate your places, recommendations and guides. They’ll even keep your reputation in tact. Tourist Eye boasts additional services that include travel planning, activity sharing in social networks and of course their iPhone and Android apps accessible offline.

If they can get word out and make a dent, it’s a smart move to bank on this homeless community. What’s not clear is exactly how Nextstop, ahem, Facebook will take it. They originally suggested that they would release the content under a Creative Commons license, but ultimately that’s not the case:

Unfortunately, we won’t be releasing the nextstop content under a Creative Commons license as we had originally announced. We haven’t been able to find a way to reliably associate the nextstop recommendations and guides with physical places they refer to that both honors our commitments to Google for using their API and also provides a useful export for other developers. We’ve been working with the team at Google to try to resolve this, and will revisit a Creative Commons export if a workable solution is found.