Tracks You May Have Missed: Google’s Field Trip App and How To Use Instagram

instagram-logoAugmented reality means adding layers to the physical world

By Laurie Jo Miller Farr

What’s new, runs in the background on mobile, and provides information about a destination? The exploration app Field Trip by Google does.

Imagine walking through Central Park and having your smartphone chime in with details about John Lennon’s songwriting as you pass near Strawberry Fields. Think about stopping at a scenic lookout to contemplate the Lone Cypress along California’s 17-Mile Drive as your Field Trip discusses the 250-year-old tree’s life expectancy.

Google calls this kind of thing “the specialness” of a place. Field Trip provides hidden gems and back alley layers of content, offering behind-the-scenes stories as the user moves through settings in real time.

Field Trip’s content has grown from roots based in history and architecture into culture, nightlife, even weird and wacky stuff. Content is sourced from Thrillist, Curbed, Eater, Sunset magazine, AIA, Zagat and more.  Naturally, content can come from the best experts of all: DMOs.

Google’s Nantic Labs developer Carl Damerow says that mobile proliferation means the time is right for this app. Finding new partners for Field Trip to explore destinations is ripe for DMOs who want to be first on the ground with Field Trip.

Using Instagram to Enhance Mobile Promotion    Kodak_T-max_3200

Kodak was right.

“Moments” rather than “photos” is the right approach for Instagram usage. Brian Zuercher of Seen underscored what everybody knows: A picture can be worth a thousand words.

Does your destination have an Instagram hashtag? How is it promoted? Is there a visual landmark which ties in to it? Were residents consulted about creating it? Do they like it? Most of all, do they use it?

In building a destination’s DNA, clever DMOs are advised to look to community, rather than purely to visitors. Encouraging residents to write the story for visitors is easy, as “people who live there are telling you everyday what the brand is and what they love about the community.”

To tap into what’s resonating about a destination, DMOs can check out what people are capturing on Instagram by following the hashtags. Going with that to build on authenticity is producing results.

Opportunity knocks. Plenty of DMOs are showing no Instagram icon on their home pages. Here are a few good examples which are:

#asseenincolumbus has attracted 61K in moments shared.

#MTLMOMENTS curates the best photos for re-use as content.

#HelloSunny for Fort Lauderdale and the Beaches

#DiscoverAmerica for Brand USA


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