Every Journey Begins With A Single Data Point

One of the exciting applications we got to work on recently is inspiration in travel. There are various kinds of travel people enjoy; travel for art, travel for nature, travel for history or travel for clubs. We all have our favorite kind. One of the difficulties with inspiration for travel is to determine what are the interesting things to see in a particular place.

You might know that Iceland is famous for volcanoes, Vienna for Christmas markets or Ibiza for epic parties. It is much harder to know all the places in the world with nice thermal pools or flea markets (or anything else you might be interested in). A lot of companies working in this area use human curators and travel experts to determine what is worth seeing in a particular travel destination. Our client, travel start-up Ulmon, realized there is a more scalable (and frankly much cooler) way to approach this problem.

Given access to Ulmon’s collections of world POIs (Points of Interest) and the users’ interactions with them, all the answers revealed themselves. We were able to discover which categories of places are characteristic for arbitrary geographic area. Find below couple of examples:

  • Tapas Restaurants in Barcelona
  • Bikeways in Amsterdam
  • Pubs in Dublin
  • Buddhist Temples in Bangkok
  • Taco Places in Mexico City
  • Ski Areas in Zell am See
  • Surf Spots in BaliMountains in Brasov

Far more interestingly, we were also able to discover the hidden gems (or places “off-the-beaten-track”). These are inherently much more difficult to discover (by definition) and lot of times actually require local knowledge to discover even by human curators. You can check out couple of examples below:

  • Catch a movie in Savoy Movie Theatre in Hamburg
  • Stay in Castle Hill Apartments in Bratislava or Wandering B&B in Prague
  • Take a walk in Parc des Buttes Chaumont in Paris or Pimrose Hill in London
  • Have dinner at Hotel Miklic in Villach region on the border of Austria and Slovenia

In the interest of protecting intellectual property of Ulmon, we obviously can´t get into technical details of our work for them. We just wanted to show you one of the cool things that data can do. If you are curious, you can download Ulmon’s app CityMaps2Go and see for yourself, what the guys are cooking up.

Stay tuned for more,