TripCommon wins THack London, takes on group travel planning with a twist
Say two, maybe three or four friends, all living in different places around the world, want to meet up for a mini-break – how might they decide where to go and where to stay?
This is what TripCommon is all about – the winning entry to THack London 2012 this week, the latest in Tnooz’s developer hackathon events around the world, supported by Travelport and Expedia Affiliate Network.
The hack used APIs from EAN and LocalGuiding from the list of ten made available to developers (any two of which must have been used to win), alongside others to produce a service which calculates where is the cheapest, most interesting and most convenient place to go for the group.
Results could be displayed by list form or on a map, with accommodation options available in each city and things to do.
The team, Gillian Morris, Elliott Blatt and Timo de Winter, are developing the hack further for a full launch under the TripCommon brand name in the coming months.
Other APIs used in the hack came from Everbread and Google Maps.
The Amadeus team produced a hack called GetInspired, using sentiment analysis of Facebook pages to come up with different ideas and options for travellers, while Toolan produced a mobile service which taps into Twitter for instant recommendations and information about a destination.
“We awarded the top prize to the Tripcommon hack. Although Gillian, Elliott and Timo had been working on the idea behind the hack for some months, and intend to launch it as a business, they followed the spirit as well as the letter of the challenge.
“They integrated a number of complex but complementary APIs in the two week time frame to produce a result that was truly impressive – enabling friends and business colleagues in different locations worldwide to plot the cheapest places to meet, taking into account airline times and fares, hotel costs and local attractions.
Morris, who was in London to present the hack, says:
“As someone new to the travel tech industry, THack was a perfect opportunity to meet the community and see whether our startup idea has legs.
“We got just the validation we’re looking for and look forward to continuing to develop TripCommon.”
Other entries presented at THack London included:
- AddToTrip (two!)
- Derrick Johnston (independent)
- John Ludgate (independent)
- SITA Lab
Commenting on the other entries, Dunford-Wood says:
“We also highly commended the Amadeus team for their social inspiration hack, a way for you – or commercial entities you authorise – to mine your facebook data to suggest destinations you might enjoy for your next holiday, alongside associated costs.
“And Richard from Dublin, for his Travelbudd.ie app, which generated up to date event information on your mobile device when you arrive at a destination with a simple twitter trigger ‘I have arrived in London’.
“Unlike the larger teams deployed by many of the other hacks, Richard developed this alone with limited resources and was still coding just minutes before the event, and the judges felt his contribution best reflected the spirit of the pure wild hack.”
More articles and examples from THack London will appear over the course of the next few days.
The APIs made available:
Sponsors of THack London:
Kevin is senior editor and a co-founder at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and publishes his first book - a biography about Depeche Mode - in early-2017.