Letting a traveller “share animated trips” with friends

Los Angeles-based HipGeo, a developer of a location-aware platform that records and displays the places users go and how they get there, has launched a new “Trips” feature.

The company says now users can use their iPhones to take pictures and track their travels then create, save and share their trips, micro-blogging their travels with active and passive features. Users can record and share their trips through Facebook, Twitter, email, text or with an embedded HipGeo player on their blogs or websites. Viewers of these trips can then see animated maps of the user’s travels as well as slide shows of photos organised by location. Travellers can also share information such as locations, routes, places, comments, and photos.

“Our Trips feature adds context unique to HipGeo users,” said HipGeo CEO Scott Daniel. “We deliver an automated way to capture and share photos, routes, and places, and it's the easiest way to create a compelling story with a smart phone. You can document any event, day, trip or travel, and then share it through popular social media sites, such as Facebook, adding a 'where' to your 'what and when.' This integration will not only improve the user experience, but will give people better ways to express their shareable moments.”

The company was funded in May 2011, and its iPhone app was released in September. APIs will be open to third-party developers by the end of 2011.

At the time of the launch of the app, Daniel said, “HipGeo has the best passive tracking technology for the iPhone. I can throw it in my pocket and it creates a record of my day on a single battery charge. We think our technology will revolutionise the way people keep track of their lives and share their interesting stories with friends, family, or the entire web.”

HipGeo turns location data and photos into locations, travels, and slide shows. The app recognises the differences between places and routes, and then automatically aggregates related groups of photos into short video like animations. These stories can be shared through users’ social networks and embedded in web pages like personal blogs.

The lead investor in HipGeo is Morado Venture Partners, a seed-stage fund run by former Yahoo! executives Ash Patel and Michael Marquez; other investors include Galen Buckwalter, former chief scientist of eHarmony, and prominent San Diego-based angel investor Robert Bingham.

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