Visit any bookstore and it’s easy to find a dozen or more guidebooks for any one of the world’s major cities. Dopplr’s Social Atlas is a guidebook unlike any other � the information within it has been compiled by the smart travellers who share their trips with others on Dopplr.
In addition to trips, they can share the discoveries they make along the way. They are able to add travel tips about places to eat, stay, and explore that might not have caught the attention of the publishers of printed guidebooks.
Dopplr travellers add hundreds of new places every week, and we aggregate and anonymise the information they send in. Looking at the data as a whole, we can start to see patterns emerging � and that’s the true power of the Social Atlas.
It means we can pinpoint the cool cafes, hip shopping streets, gourmet restaurants and fashionable bars that people have discovered in the last few months. We can see where people are choosing to spend a night, be it in a tiny backstreet guest house or in the grandest of five-star hotels.
The explore category can mean taking in the traditional tourist attractions, but it might also mean walking the back streets of an up-and-coming city district, nosing around the shops and soaking up the atmosphere. It might mean browsing dusty bookshops or modern art galleries, or simply sipping a coffee and people-watching in a busy market square. Whatever travel tips Dopplr travellers have shared, it’s all available to everyone in the Social Atlas.
And we can do all this much quicker than traditional print publishing allows. The Social Atlas is constantly changing as people’s opinions change and new recommendations are added to our database. Whatever’s happening in the world’s big cities, our travellers are likely to spot it. The Social Atlas is always bang up-to-date.
The Social Atlas is built entirely using the recommendations from smart travellers, and this is what makes it unique. We know, for example, where Dopplr travellers are based and also what travel planning they’ve been doing. We can look at an overview of the data and spot interesting trends, such as where Londoners tend to go when they visit New York (and, in contrast, where New Yorkers go in their home town).
These trends and patterns are central to the value of the Social Atlas in the long term. It allows us to take snapshots of cities not just as places, but also as moments in time. The snapshot for London in January will differ from London six months later, as seasons and fashions change people’s habits.