How to consolidate, organize, and share tourism information?
November 15, 2013 2:04 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for smart ways to consolidate, organize, and share tourism information for people who visit me and for places that my partner and I might visit.

In the case of people who visit me, I want to organize information about local attractions and day trips. My goals are 1) to make it easier for my guests to figure out what they want to do (hopefully, before they arrive), and 2) to jog my memory so I can suggest activities to them.

In the case of my partner and me, I want to organize destinations for weekend trips and for longer holidays. My goals are 1) to see where there are "clumps" of tourist attractions and restaurants that we would like to visit, and 2) to track useful tips that I might otherwise miss (like dos and don'ts, local tours, and so on).

Right now, all of this info is scattered in Chrome bookmarks, bookmarks, and starred locations in Google Maps. I also have a messy spreadsheet that represents my first attempt to organize information for guests. I don't have a good overview of any of it.

So I'm looking for better ways to organize this type of information and better ways to share it with my visitors and with my partner.
posted by neushoorn to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Use a wiki?
posted by backwards guitar at 3:46 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Use Google Sites? The maps should embed into the pages nicely and you can share the pages just with guests or leave them open to the world.
posted by COD at 4:24 AM on November 15, 2013

Best answer: I'm a big fan of Evernote for things like this. You can create a notebook for each category or day trip, and then easily clip content from the web into the notebook. You can also add new notes or annotations to existing notes manually.

Notebooks can be shared with other Evernote users (Evernote is free for basic features), and the paid subscription allows you to sync the notebook to your phone or tablet for offline use. You can also print notes, export them in various formats, email them to people, etc.
posted by maxim0512 at 4:35 AM on November 15, 2013

Would a board on a visual pinning platform (like pintrest or some online presentation platform) work for your visitors?
I assume it is all in one city/area, so you could pin pictures of interesting things and write little notes about how to get there or opening hours and include links to the actual websites.
People could browse your "what to do in neushoorn's city" board and get their own research started from there. This information is somewhat static I assume, only adding new attractions as they become relevant.

Your personal travel info is way more dynamic, as things become obsolete once visited. So I don't really have anything specific to recommend. Personally, I just keep notes (physical notebook & word documents) for each city/country/trip. But you could explore if a pinning board would work for this as well.
posted by travelwithcats at 4:54 AM on November 15, 2013

Have you considered Posse? It's a social networking review type place. Restaurant and shop centric but I think it can be extended to museum type places. I signed up a few months ago, it's slowly building up its population of users but it makes getting recommendations from my pals pretty easy, and vice versa.

Full disclosure: my friend did the design work and I think it looks very pretty.
posted by mooza at 5:06 AM on November 15, 2013

Best answer: I have used Mosey for this to good effect - and they just came out with an iPhone app so it should be even better now.
posted by thirdletter at 5:47 AM on November 15, 2013

Best answer: Seconding Evernote. The web clipper is easy-to-use for online stuff, and highly flexible as to how you want to actually clip the page. (For example: just a section, the entire page, a simplified version without ads, etc.) PDFs of brochures and the like could be uploaded, too. Plus, it's highly portable and accessible.

Organization should work just like you want, too. Organize notebooks for yourself, in whatever categories/areas make sense - you can move them anywhere you want, and take advantage of tags for anything else you might want to sort it by that isn't an explicit category. (For myself, I'd probably use the notebooks to sort by location, plus tags for other details like museum, wine-tasting, hike, etc.)

Same pretty much goes for the other-people notebooks, too. Notebooks are easy to share with other people, and they update as you add stuff. For your guests, I'd recommend using sub-notebooks named things like accommodations, restaurants, etc, just because that would be more-visible and easier for them to choose then just the tags. (That would work for the notebooks for yourself, as well - especially for a location that has hit critical mass and you're in the soon-to-visit-there stage.
posted by stormyteal at 8:48 AM on November 15, 2013

Best answer: I use Evernote for this, though it's mostly to keep stuff organized so I can jog my own memory about what there is to do and then pick which to copy-and-paste into an email for which friends. For closer friends, though, I just share the note via Evernote.

Something I've found incredibly useful is organizing things by neighborhood (because neighborhoods are pretty compartmentalized here in the SF Bay Area, and because most visitors will be likely to only go to two or three neighborhoods at most) and having a set list of categories of things my friends and I are into. So for example, my Things to Do in San Francisco list looks like this:

The Mission
Ice cream:

Ice cream:

That way when a friend says, hey, I'm in the Mission, where should I get coffee / a drink / dinner? or What is there to do in SoMa besides shop? I can quickly find recommendations.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:42 PM on November 15, 2013

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