Tripmondo is an experimental sparetime project and a hommage to free, open and global online web services and data sources.
Tripmondo tries to provide users with a first impression of a specific place. For this, we collect data from open and free sources and combine them into a meaningful overview of a location.
Tripmondo is basically a 3-level representation of all the places in the world. Consiting of country, region and place. As such, the hierarchical representation of a place may not always exactly match it's real world political hierarchy position. (e.g. "City States" like Singapore). Also, I learned that not every source follows the same definition of a country, in terms of some countries baring other names or not even existing. If in any case, a country is wrongly labelled or missing, keep it mind that this is not meant as a politcal statement. If you believe a country is wrongly named, please let us know.
This project startet as a twitter plugin for CMS Made Simple for my own homepage. Once I got the hang of how to use APIs I found many more interesting sources. After some rough and ugly prototype, the first Version was released in 2008. But the aggregated information was far from really relevant to a given location. Since everthing was based on APIs it took ages to finally deliver meaningful pages (30 seconds at least).
The first bigger engine update in 2009 tried to optimize the geographic data structure and information retrieval processes. It changed the geo system from a purely name based model to a 2-level (geo hierarchy) database based model, introduced caching for APIs (where allowed) and a simple scheduler for updating and processing of new data.
The second large update (or version 3) in 2011 mainly dealt with efficiency and caching. The geographic system switched to a 3-level geo hierarchy and began to use spatial indices for higher precision and a file based caching for faster response times.
The third big update happened 2013 with Version 4. Results got yet again better for many locations. It is a complete rewrite of the full application. The biggest change is probably the geographic model (finding near and relevant objects) and how data is processed and maintained in the backend (basically a completely new database structure). Additionally static geographic queries are pre-rendered to reduce system load.
This results in more precision in a shorter time when showing local information (we think it's a good trade-off for the moment ... more precision would mean more waiting). This again helped a lot of the more remote places to show far better results.
The fifth major version has been released in April 2018. Despite the many changes in the past, still a lot of components where running on rather old PHP Versions - all of those have been refactored and improved. The biggest change has been the switch of the geographic model working under the bonnet and how points of interest are treatet internally. Since hierarchies are now dynamic, they better reflect the world wide difference in administration - without being too strict.
The platform you are currently looking at, is the result of many test and fails. None-the-less, there are still quite a few places, which we are not exactly proud of (say crappy results). We are constantly working on improving the technology and ultimately your experience. So if you stumble over "not so good" content, please let us know and point us at these flaws.
Frequently asked questions
What is Tripmondo?
Tripmondo is a site half mash-up and half editorial content. The Magazine features information about various travel topics. The TripExplorer is the dynamic core of Tripmondo. It tries to aggregate relevant information for places in the world to answer the question: "What is it like in a certain place?". We try to get you a first impression of whatever place you are looking for. Worldwide!
How many places do you know?
Hard to answer. Theoretically, we should be able to show content for roughly 4.0 million places. So that should virtually be "any place". However, not all places may provide as much data as e.g. Hamburg or New York. If we believe that a place doesn't provide enough valuable content, you won't find any pages for it and we won't update that location on a regular basis. Sometimes, when locations are close to each other and have the same name, it can happen happen that just one of them is shown.
How do you collect what content?
Simplifyed, we ask e.g. Youtube: "Hey, Youtube! What are your most favourite videos from around New York City we can show and are allowed to embed?". The Youtube webservice will (most likely) then give us back a list of items we can show. We will remember the answer for a while and then ask again after some time to see, whether there are any new cool videos to show or pictures we should take offline. We only use data of users that publicly share this content (by the terms of the corresponding website like e.g. youtube). We currently have around a dozend services integrated into Tripmondo.com. Amongst these services are also rather new ones like reisewarnung.net (for international travel warnings) or abflug.info (for airport data).
How reliable is the data
Well, to be honest, I can not say "exactly" how precise and reliable the data is you see. The Trip-Explorer is a section that is partly based on API content, datasets and editorial work. I tested quite a few places but it is impossible to test them all. For more common places, the site experience wil generally be better since there is more data available. Let's put it this way: you shouldn't base decisions that have a potential to harm your life on the information displayed. Use common sense and check for travel warnings with your local government before going to exotic places.
I want some content to be removed or changed/corrected!
Now this is a tricky question. I fully respect your copyright. However, the site receives most of the media content (e.g. Images, Videos) automatically from the APIs of the mentioned services (next to the content in question). Their terms of service allow us to use this data and provide us with this information/content by automatic means. The content will automatically be removed from our pages (this applies for eg. tweets, videos, pictures, webcams and most other services) when you remove it from your account or set the item on private on the corresponding platform. If you still believe, we did something wrong, please contact us and name the URL where you identified the problem. It greatly helps if you can provide a brief description of the content so we can spot it right away.
If you want something changed, please change your data on the platform in question. We regularly update our locations (some more frequently than others). Your changes should appear on this website shortly after.
Please note: We don't actually host any of e.g. the images or videos you see. This is delivered by the indicated service. However, we are able to block specific items of content. If there's something that requires imediate attention: Please notify us, and we'll do our very best to ensure that the item will no longer be displayed.
Are you a company?
If you'd asked me a few years ago, the answer was a clear no. But things evolve, and since we show advertising - we are not really a non profit website. So yes, we do show some advertising but this is to cover some costs for hosting and maintenance (the site is currently running on a Xeon with 32G Ram and two SSD (Raid) ... and one don't get that for free you know).
Our intention is not to pollute search-indices with low value articles or scraped content. As such, we try to be defensive about what places we promote to search engines and stick to free and publicly available data. Though more than 10 years old, Tripmondo is still in a kind of experimental state. If you believe we show crap or wrong stuff, please help us and notify us of these spots. If you believe we have not correctly stated the original author, please let us also know.
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Last modified: 26.03.2018, edited by: Nils