The Past And Future of Local Discovery

Gone are the days of foldout maps and paperback guidebooks meant to help travelers navigate new terrain. Today’s it’s all about mobile apps, which in a highly-digitized environment are valuable tools not just for consumers to understand and explore new terrain but for businesses to better comprehend consumer habits and trends.

To help walk us through what’s happening with local discovery, we sat down with Dennis Crowley, co-founder and executive chairman of Foursquare, and his colleague Sarah Spagnolo, editor at large for the company and a veteran of travel publishing.

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Crowley has been on the forefront of mobile and local discovery since emerging technologies like the iPhone in 2007 created a seismic shift in how people explore the world. Since Foursquare’s founding in 2009, the company has evolved into two separate products, Foursquare and Swarm, the latter devoted to its traditional checkins and connecting with friends whereas the original company, similar to Yelp and Google Maps, is an app and service that functions as a de facto travel guide. In addition, it’s build a strong location database business that provides consumer insights to other brands seeking to gain insight into how people interact with destinations.

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