Get language packages from Google Translate on your Android mobile device. Can look up word, speak, write, take a photo and have Google translate. Handles 64 languages. Canadian Press prepared this video – Amazing Google Translate features you may not know about Add to … (Globe and Mail, May 5)
The online travel industry is consolidating. This New York Times article – Fewer, Bigger Travel Sites (Apr 29) – reports that Priceline is buying Kayak (air and hotel), and Expedia acquired the German Trivago (hotel search).
“In March, Expedia ranked second after TripAdvisor, with Priceline third among the top 10 online travel agencies and search sites, for the “number of unique visitors,” according to comScore, which tracks visitors to travel and other types of Web sites. In March, TripAdvisor had nearly 20.95 million visitors, followed closely by Expedia with 20.92 million, and Priceline had 17.45 million. Kayak.com Network ranked eighth with 8.94 million visitors, with Trivago Sites ranking 248th with 142,000. Online travel agencies make money through online advertising more than through transactions, Mr. Harteveldt said. “
Why did Google sell Frommer’s back to Arthur Frommer? Because it had already milked it for social media contacts.
Google sold Frommer’s Travel — but kept all the social media data by Jeff John Roberts, paidcontent.org (Apr 9)
As Skift reported Tuesday, Google handed over the company to founder Arthur Frommer sans social media accounts. In other words, Google is keeping all of the followers that Frommer’s accrued on Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest. These thousands — or more likely millions — of accounts are valuable because they represent a huge collection of serious travel enthusiasts.
Good news – Arthur Frommer, long-time travel guide, has acquired rights to the Frommer travel content from Google according to the Boston GLobe.
The whole affairs was bizarre from the beginning. Google bought from Wiley, supposedly to support its own entry into travel, and then didn’t use particularly well. Good that it is back in the hands of Arthur and daughter, Pauline, and all their devoted readers, and out of Google Plus or wherever Google put it.
“Google confirmed in an email Wednesday night that the brand was returned to its founder, but added that the travel content it had acquired from Frommer’s and Wiley had been integrated into various Google services such as Google Plus.”
This MakeUseOf guide by Yaara Lancet may be Everything You Need To Prepare For A Long Car Journey Or Road Trip (Feb 25). It’s a collection of tools for calculating costs, routes, accomodations. Examples are eastern USA and tips include having list of NPR radio stations. For CBC you would use CBC Channels and Frequencies (unfortunately not on a single page.)
These free travel apps for your phone or laptop will help you get around airports, find a flight, get oriented to a city — Today’s Best Travel Apps, and They’re All Free — Bloomberg Businessweek (Jan 31) — has tech accessories too.
If you have some spare time, travel a lot, and would like to write, Wikipedia could have a venue for you. It has opened a new travel site – WikiVoyage
Wikipedia’s travel site’s official launch coming soon; what to expect and not expect (Skift, Jan 9) tells us that it is to be used by people planning their travel or on the road but not be a travel magazine, directory to sites, chat board and several other things. There are more don’ts than dos.
This may have promise – Expedia starts testing natural language travel search Big Data-style at tnooz (Jan 3).
Expedia is experimenting with natural language in queries for travel – such as hotel in downtown Palm Springs with wifi. at its sandbox site ( yourvisit.com ) (Though I can’t say this query works out very well.) Results will be delivered by mining large databases of information about the place, accommodations, attractions etc. This may include “… around 1,300 data sources to ensure the results are not only accurate to the original search (often an issue with natural language search tools) but provide product ideas tuned specifically to the original request.”
It’s too early to know if this will make search any easier. Personally, I favour faceted search for travel queries – and especially hotel queries – neighbourhood, size or type of accommodation, amenities. Success may depends on how much Expedia will be able to enrich results with other information that wasn’t asked for but would be helpful.
Bing may be a worthy alternative to Google again. This fluctuates, and Bing in the last year or so has removed page previewing and some special displays for topics such as recipes.
However, lately I’ve been struck by relevancy of its search results: I haven’t thought – “oh surely there must be better results” and flipped back to Google. Bolding of terms in the snippets is good, although those snippets have become very short and there is no page preview.
But what happened to Advanced? It is not entirely lost but is definitely hidden and limited. To find it - run the query, look at results, click in the search box again to get more suggestions – then you see the link to Advanced Search.
Bing Canada shows choice for language and region (to quickly restrict to Canada) on all results pages.
On Bing.com web search pages, you’ll see a filter on time: past 24 hours, week or month.
The Advanced Search is an extra panel with choices for domain, country, language and terms. Note that you cannot search for words in the title of a page using this form.
Aaron Couch at MakeUseOf has identified several features at Bing.com that he finds attractive – Greater Than Google: The Best Bits Of Bing (December 20).
These features can be found at Bing.com (not Bing.ca and not likely other country versions).
- Travellers will appreciate the tips on flights and hotels. Access this from the Travel tab – which if you don’t see in the Menu bar can be found under More.
- Entertainment in your area may be found through Events – enter the city or region and the type of entertainment. It can find events in Canada.
- There are various social features for search, news, and recommendations if you connect Bing to your Facebook account.
- Bing also has strong image and video search capabilities.
Give yourself some time to explore Bing.com (the US version).
Google Experiments With New Flight Explorer Feature, Matt McGee, Search Engine Land (Dec 12)
Google’s new Flight Explorer helps you find best price over several days, and then book through the airline.
“Flight Explorer auto-detects your location and presents several destinations with a price chart showing the range of airfares available over the next two months”
There is a very detailed help page to explain the options.