UrbanBird is an app that’s all about you discovering great places around you — and discovering local is hard, whether you’re in your hometown where you’ve gotten into a certain groove that you can’t seem to get out of, or you’re in a brand new place where you know nothing.
I’m definitely someone who knows that struggle. I’ve spent the past five years as a part of the digital nomad community, moving to a new country every three to nine months. I’ve also spent long-ish periods in Burlington, Vermont, which is where I was born and raised. So yeah, I know both the “Oh man, I’m in a totally new place and don’t know anything” feeling as well as the “I’m so tired of the same places I’ve been going to since high school” feeling. Both of them suck.
That’s why I was excited to learn about UrbanBird, an app that is number one in the App Store with the keyword “explore nearby” and also rocking a five-star rating. They’ve melded three things that I love — hashtags, photos, and local discovery — in one easy-to-use app.
Here’s how it works. You tell the app what you’re interested in, in two ways: by following hashtags and also by uploading your own pics. The app then learns based on your behavior and presents you with places in your location that it knows you’re going to like.
“We’ve imagined a self-learning, semantic platform that aims to answer your search queries without a single word,” UrbanBird founder Toni Peinoit tells KillerStartups. “By understanding your environment, your personality, and what makes your travel pictures so unique, UrbanBird makes recommendations for your offline world.”
The app also lets you turn your travel photos — or any photos you take in one location, really — into an interactive map. This allows you to not only easily share information about trips with your friends and family but also helps you keep track of the places you’ve been and loved. Oh, and it’s a great solution for all of you who are mad about Instagram killing their photo maps feature.
You can also save pictures that people post of places near you for future reference, find the top 10 hashtags in your neighborhood, and get GPS navigation from your current location to the location of any photo that you like.
So if the standard discovery apps and sites aren’t working for you and you’re sick of having to type everything into Google each time you’re looking for a new restaurant, check out UrbanBird — which already boasts more than 500,000 pictures and locations logged, as of June this year — and see what you discover.