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Gogobot: the Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Travel App

By Carissa Bluestone

When Gogobot released its iPhone app last month it already had significant buzz, having been written up in tech mags and the New York Times and hailed one of the 50 Best Websites of All Time by Time Magazine. Gogobot’s creators have promised to revolutionize travel, which in the world of travel apps means leaving no virtual stone unturned. Hence, Gogobot is part Instagram, part TripAdvisor, part journalling app, part virtual concierge.

Gogobot throws in everything but the kitchen sink (language translation?). The site, where you do your actual trip planning, has an array of crowdsourcing capabilities: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and the Gogobot Network. Enter your trip destination and photos and reviews appear; you can add any place that looks interesting to your itinerary or wishlist. A handy popup allows you to query Facebook, Twitter, and Gogobot to fill in any planning gaps. Via the app, you can access your saved trips, search for more nearby points of interest and create virtual postcards.

The Good:

  • The ease of building an itinerary by clicking on pretty pictures.
  • Unlike TripAdvisor and Yelp, which seem to attract the malcontent, Gogobot’s setup helps people share what they like about a destination.
  • Turnaround rate is high—I had trouble finding a week-old question that didn’t have at least a few responses from the Gogobot Network.
  • The app’s “Nearby” geolocation function is particularly helpful for finding restaurants.
  • The ability to create a custom (permalinked) travel guide based on places you liked.

The Bad:

  • Like so many multitasking travel-planning sites, Gogobot.com looks like the dog’s breakfast (the app is very clean, however).
  • Some of the bragging rights features are a little childish: filling out your virtual passport, collecting badges and Facebook “likes”.
  • The site has less privacy than Facebook: You can hide your profile from a public search, but otherwise your trip-planning details are there for the world to see.

The Meh:

  • The postcard feature is cute but it doesn’t compare to Instagram in terms of picture quality or filters. I’m also leery of it allowing you to upload other users’ photos (the postcard is tagged with the proper photo credit, but still).

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