I believe that February might be the height of the working professional’s wanderlust. All of the new year’s resolutions have died a swift death, the excitement of seeing snow again has worn off, another Super Bowl has come and gone, but it’s still just a little too early to talk about baseball’s spring training. As I sit down to write this, it’s 25 degrees outside, and the white sand and clear blue waters of a place like Aruba certainly sound like an upgrade.
So what do we do when we experience this desire to explore? If we have the means, we hop online in front of the usual suspects and start to research. You can get very detailed information on resorts and activities, and you can compare prices on all the major aspects of your trip to make your dollars reach as far as they can. You can even immerse yourself in pictures of these places taken by prior visitors.
And that’s where you can kind of get into a rut. You pull up these beautiful places, and you scroll through picture after picture. Some people absolutely adored the place. Some people absolutely hated it, and document every little part of the trip they didn’t like. You start to hem and haw. Granted, the good feedback seems to outweigh the bad, but you start to wonder if you’re more like the people that loved it or the people that hated it. You only get to vacation once, and you’re terrified of blowing it. After an hour, you’re paralyzed. You have so many voices running through your head that you’re not sure you even want to go on vacation anymore.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were more focused overviews of a location’s points of interest?
That’s where we think Orbitist comes in. It’s a simple way for destination marketers and regional tourism agencies to communicate all that their area has to offer. By curating content from Twitter and Instagram, we get an authentic view from the ground while also adding an authoritative voice about points of interest that are worth investigating.
Let’s say you’re promoting the beaches of Aruba:
With Orbitist, it’s easy to manage various points of interest. We feel that the benefit of this is two-fold: the map-creator gets to drive the eyes of the user to specific locations, ensuring visibility for attractions. At the same time, through the use of the interactive map, the user gets the satisfaction of being able to explore the island with purpose and without feeling overwhelmed.
As I touched on earlier, explorers and vacation-planners alike rely heavily on pictures and videos from other travelers to make their judgements of points of interest. We understand that this is an essential need of a modern user, and our goal is to cut through the noise and provide accurate information from official sources while mixing in the personal touch of real people who saw it for themselves. With our Twitter and Instagram integration, we are able to pull some of the most beautiful and relevant pictures and short videos of the points of interest that we want to highlight and embed them directly on Orbitist maps. This allows the map-creator to give users the opportunity to see these points of interest through the eyes of other visitors, while still maintaining the ability to convey all of the information that makes it an important point of interest.
As an explorer, the goal of our Aruba map is to highlight many of the amazing beaches on the island and help you decide which ones might be on your ‘must-visit’ list. As a map-creator, the goal is to match visitors with points of interest that will maximize both their enjoyment and regional engagement. Vacationers holding relaxation as their number one priority will likely enjoy Eagle Beach a little more than Hadicurari Beach, while the adventurous explorers might enjoy a trip by 4x4 out to Andicuri Beach. All of this information may already be out there, but interacting through a platform that contains factual information, user-generated multimedia, and geographical context can help us feel more confident in the decisions we make based on all of the information we are taking in.
VIncent Quatroche is Senior Explorer at Orbitist. He hails from Western New York but has called New York City home since 2010. Have an idea for a place that you want explored on Orbitist? Contact him at [email protected]
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