If you are going on vacation and looking for an interesting way to discover new places – some documented in tourism guides and some unwritten about — then try Trover.
Trover is a free mobile app, compatible with Android devices and iPhones, which enables you to look at photos of places near you or ocean away which were posted by travelers and locals.
Figuring out destinations to visit in this way can make for a very attractive and also imperfect experience. For example, after downloading the app, you can select featured images or those of nearby places, since the app detects your location.
Among the featured images today were a photo of Antler Arch in the Jackson Hole, Wyo., town square, and street art in Leknes, Norway.
One of the interesting things about Trover is you can identify who uploaded the image to Trover and how many followers they have. And you can get a handle on their tastes by viewing other photos they have posted.
You can access a Google Map of the area on the same screen of the photo and read other peoples’ comments about the attraction and locale.
In addition, Trover users can tap “Thank” if they enjoyed the photo (the more “thanks” the better), make comments and share the image on social networks.
But, as interesting as the photos can be, the information that accompanies the photos often falls short of what you might get in a guidebook or tourism app.
For example, the Jackson Hole image doesn’t identify the image as the Antler Arch, but the photo is appealing nonetheless and might inspire a visit.
The app’s “nearby” feature is especially appealing if you are looking for something spontaneous to do a short distance away.
For example, Trover shows me a photo of Christopher Reeve’s wheelchair and points out that the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is 2.1 miles away in Millburn, New Jersey.
And, from that image you can tap “jump to nearby discoveries” and browse images ranging from Turtleback Zoo in West Orange, N.J., to a “great new neighborhood café,” Café Amici, in Montclair, N.J.
If you feel like skipping the crowds and guided tours when traveling, Trover can be good do-it-yourself discovery tool.
But, with detailed and reliable descriptions lacking at times, you might also want to bring along a guidebook or another tour guide app as back-up.