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Ever plan a trip by spreading maps out over the kitchen table, pouring over every minor detail until you finally get your itinerary set up? Tripline is a new product from a small Los Angeles based startup which aims to both simplify this process as well as make it a fun experience for you and a process you can share with family and friends.
Tripline follows the mantra “Planning is a creative process” and really takes it to the next level. Read on for an in depth review and how Tripline can help you plan and share your travels.
The first thing that impressed me with Tripline is their clean, simple interface. The main component that you will be focused on while viewing or planning a trip is the map. They use Google Maps extensively on their site and in its very essence Tripline is a very neat way to share “places on a map.” However Tripline is so much more than that.
Let’s begin by viewing a sample trip set up by the site – Lewis and Clark’s Journey.
A trip is entered onto the map in any number of ways. Each destination is mapped out by a dot and, you guessed it, a line. On each leg of the journey you have the ability to add a description of that location. This is where Tripline veers from other travel sites. You can also add photos, video and other media to the location – either keeping notes for an upcoming trip or chronicling a trip you have already been on.
Creating Your Own Travel Map
Creating your own travel map couldn’t be easier. The manual way is to enter places on the map by clicking on them or entering addresses. Then you have the easy way – importing them from any number of services like Foursquare, Gowalla, Tripit or even Twitter!
Tripline will take your geo-encoded data and plot it out on the map.
The process to do this is very easy and is actually quite fun to do. After entering your trip, you can get some other really cool visualizations, such as elevation:
On each place, you can edit just about any details you want. To add some flare you can add your photos to the trip and arrange them however you would like others to see them.
For example, here is a photo I took at Ted Drews on Route 66:
After setting up your trip, you can share it any number of ways – via the URL or by the built in Facebook buttons. The founders of Tripline envision the site as a way to share your trips with family and friends, reducing the occasions you have to explain what you did to multiple members of your family. Since they are shared in one location, you have one place to send anyone curious about your trip. On the other hand, if you want to keep your trip private that is an option as well.
Once your trip is published you can “play” it back like a slideshow. The map will transition to each location and show a box along with any description you typed in or media you attached to that location. Music is included with the slideshow (which is optional).
Tripline is currently in beta and new features are being rolled out weekly. I did find some minor bugs (mainly in Facebook integration, but Facebook is also acting funny to me right now so it could be on their end) but it was nothing that was a show stopper. I found the site easy to use and the variety of sites they have connections with make it easy to both enter trip waypoints and also to add media. Facebook, Flickr and Picasa photo album integration make importing images a snap.
If you like to travel, check out Tripline! I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how much fun it is to share your trips in this interesting and unique manner.
Have a trip you want to share with readers? Make sure to post it in the comments below. Let us know what you think of Tripline or if you have used any alternatives to this site.
Image Credit : Claudio Vaccaro