Archive for June, 2008

Lists and maps and needles in haystacks

I once sat on a bus for about 24 hours travelling north from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.  On the map, I hadn’t moved very far.  It’s a big place.  The same 24 hour journey here in the UK would easily get you from the tip of Cornwall (England) to the top of Highland (Scotland).  The UK isn’t a big place. 

Well, not big in comparison to other places but still plenty big to feel that finding extraordinary places is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.  Sure, there are obvious attractions that are known the world over.  Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle, Tower of London etc.  But what of all the other amazing places that are less well known.  How do you find them?

picturetheuk is a search engine.  You search for attractions and destinations.  Fine, but that still doesn’t really help you discover places does it?  So to address the problem, we rank attractions by popularity.  Users click on attractions, photos, videos, maps and we collect the info and arrange attractions by popularity accordingly.  So users can discover places they might want to visit.  We’ve tried to make the site as visual as possible to make this process enjoyable.

Yesterday, we provided the facility to view these attractions on maps.  So if you go to the home page and type in ‘London’ in the attraction search, you’ll be presented with the option of displaying places by list or on maps.

This way, we hope you’ll start discovering needles in haystacks that you never knew existed 😉

Link for that ‘London’ search: http://www.picturetheuk.com/uk-tourism/search?loc_q=london&loc_id=1085

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3D via lots and lots of photos

Some interesting work being done on maps at the moment.  In short, taking photos and stitching them together to create 3D representations of places.  Allowing people to visualise locations if you will.  Still think editorial and social content are the solution to the problem of visualising, recommending and discovering places before you visit them but this work will certainly be of help.  Reported on TechCrunch, links below.

Google bought a Spanish company called Panoramio in 2007.  This company geo-locates photos on Google’s maps.  Microsoft have (somewhere, not on site at mo) a facility called ‘Birds eye’ that allowed me to navigate around a 3D London when I last used it.  They then bought MultiMap and not too sure what’s going on with it now.

Google: http://www.panoramio.com/ and Microsoft http://labs.live.com/photosynth/default.html and TechCrunch report http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/03/googles-panoramio-launches-photosynth-like-flythroughs/

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This other Eden (2): Elgol

By car, from mainland Scotland, the A87 takes you past one of Scotland’s most famous attractions, Eilean Donan Castle.  The road continues through the Kyle of Lochalsh, over the bridge and onto the Isle of Skye. 

A little further on, there’s a smaller road on the left at Broadford which journeys around Loch Slapin (with spectacular views of the mountain Blaven) and then south west towards the coastline.  The road bends, dips, rises, arrives at the top of a steep descent.  At the bottom, by the sea, is the tiny village of Elgol.  Unquestionably, this is a candidate for the most spectacular view in the UK, the view from Elgol across the water to the Cuillin of the Isle of Skye. 

Over in Nepal, there’s a famous view of Everest from a peak called Kala Patthar.  From it, one looks across and up towards the bowl of rock that makes Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse.  The view from Elgol is every bit as extraodinary as the view from Kala Patthar. 

The view: http://www.picturetheuk.com/uk-tourism/attraction/the-cuillin-268.html and Elgol: http://www.picturetheuk.com/uk-tourism/destinations/elgol-47506.html



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