If a picture is worth 1000 words, using multimedia in your travel writing speaks volumes.
Thanks to numerous open source applications, travel writers can now quickly and easily include video, timelines, data visualizations, and other interactive media directly into their travel articles.
The following lists five indispensable tools for travel writers looking to add content in new and exciting ways:
Umapper makes it simple to customize maps, which is especially useful for travel writers covering numerous locations in their piece.
For example, if you’re writing an article on US road trips, you can create an interactive map of your route.
Umapper also lets you include images, annotations and video within your maps.
For example, if you’re doing a travel piece on cooking schools in France, you can record a short video at each school and add it atop the map.
Created and maintained by IBM, Many Eyes lets you take your data and publish it in interesting new visualizations.
For example, let’s say you’re researching the average travel expenditure per country on tourism.
After finding the data online, simply upload it to Many Eyes and create a global map like this.
As you drag your mouse across the screen you’ll notice each country pops up. This
provides an interactive backdrop to your travel piece.
Socialcam is a mobile app lets you instantly upload videos from your smartphone to blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
If you’re doing a piece on the top New York City bars, simply record a short snippet of each bar and upload it using this app.
The ability to upload videos to social networks make Socialcam a must-have for any video-blogger or journalist.
Shrink the Web
Shrink the Web allows you to quickly create snapshots of websites which can then be added into your article.
The site saves significant amounts of time when reviewing websites in a blog post (like this one for example); plus, it adds a nice visual appeal to your stories.
So there you have it: five easy ways to improve the look and feel of your travel articles. Did we miss any? Leave your own favorite tools below in the comments section.
This is a great post. As a travel photographer I will be able to use each of these tips. Thanks.
Awesome tips, Adam! I am fully supportive of the increasing trend to include multimedia content on blogs of any genre, but they’re especially valuable on travel blogs……and these are some pretty cool tools to add! :-)
Glad y’all liked it… it’s amazing how easy it is to spruce up your content… and for free, too!
Awesome post, I love finding new and helpful sites. And 5 for 5 on new ones too, thanks! Umapper looks particularly cool.
RouteYou is comparable to Umapper, but it allows you (for many countries) to calculate routes between your points of interest, even automatically, and adapted to any mode of transportation (motorized, walking or biking). You can also add multi mediacontent to each point of interest, and gives a profile of your route (with height differences… great for outdoor activities).
Nice add on RouteYou; it seems easier to use than Umapper.
What a nifty little tool Shrink the Web is — this is something I know I’ll get a lot of mileage out of. Thanks for the tip. Jay
Great suggestions – adding extra value to your articles with multimedia has to be good for visitors and hopefully they will be more likely to recommend your site as a great source of content and information.
Great info I especially like Shrink the Web and Umapper. I am going to check them out and see if I can use them. Thanks
Social Cam and Shrink the Web look like great time savers. Thanks for the heads up.
I see you’ve written a book about travel writing. I’d love to pick your brain about how you went about marketing your book, whether you were published by an outside publisher or did it yourself? I have just published a book called Backpack Like You Mean It, and am trying to market myself. Would love to open up a dialogue with someone who has done this already and get tips about how best to spread the word. Any advice, contacts or suggestions?