• 20Mar'15


    On any given day, there are thousands of things to do and see in Chicago to entertain a bored or curious mind - something many of us probably take for granted. The fun of exploring Chicago is something many of our patients miss out, on especially if they are frequently admitted. Thanks to the advances of technology, patients can now experience the outside world from their hospital rooms.

  • 2Mar'15

    Here's Why Marketers Are Flocking to Mobile World Congress in Spain

    More than 70,000 tech, marketing and other digital industry professionals are in Barcelona this week for the 28th annual Mobile World Congress. It's not as ridiculously big as the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which saw 170,000 attendees, but it's about twice the size of South By Southwest Interactive held yearly in Austin, Texas.

  • 25Feb'15

    Chicago Lunar New Year Parade Goes Global

    Georama, a company that helps people experience the world vicariously in real-time, partnered with the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce to bring the Lunar New Year Parade to those who could not be there.

    The 103rd annual Lunar New Year Parade was held Sunday, 22nd February, and it was the first time it had been live streamed. This allowed people from anywhere in the world to tune in to see how Chicago celebrates the Lunar New Year. Also, this was a welcome addition for those who wanted to be there but couldn't make it due to the subzero temperatures, as it allowed them to still experience the event from the comfort of their homes. One viewer even commented saying that she loved being able to watch in her 'jammies' at home.

    "Our partnership with Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce was a success – people from over 45 cities and 5 countries tuned in, and it was great to show those who don't live in Chicago exactly how we celebrate Chinese New Year!" said Nihal Advani, Founder and CEO of Georama. "Event's like this showcase how us Chicagoans celebrate and respect all cultures."

  • 24Feb'15

    Finally Beyond the Hype? Simulcasting Experiences and Virtual Reality

    Two of the most hyped promises of the digital age include the ability to use video to visually share our experiences – and the idea of immersive virtual reality that transports us into a life-like digital environment. Unfortunately museum leaders have only been able to imagine how we might use these capabilities to expand access to exhibits and educational programs. New signals in the world suggest that the hype of video simulcasting and virtual reality soon may be more mainstream. Two recent experiences have shifted my thinking and elevated expectations on new ways museums might share experiences in the not-so-distant future.

    Scaling-out the Guided Tour
    Instagram has mainstreamed social sharing of images but nothing compares to the impact of live video and a trusted guide. A few weeks ago I was treated to a real-time tour of Chicago from the comfort of my home in Brooklyn. My host was a tour guide from Chicago-based Georama. The visual experience was from a chest-mounted camera that delivers what Georama terms vicarious experiences - the ability to virtually explore a destination in real-time via a human guide who is on the ground and able to answer questions from hundreds or thousands of people watching in real-time.

  • 13Feb'15

    Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Visits 1871

    Click here to read the full article

  • 10Feb'15

    Georama Wins at Illinois' Top Tourism Conference

    Georama, a company that provides a new medium for destination marketing via live interactive video, won the Shark Tank by 1871 competition held at the 2015 Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism which took place from February 2-4 at the Hilton Palmer House.

  • 5Feb'15

    Georama wins $5,000 in tourism-focused pitch competition

    Virtual travel company Georama took off with tourism professionals Wednesday. The Chicago-based startup, which licenses wearable camera and backpack technology that allows for real-time interaction in live streaming tours, took first place among five startups pitching to a state tourism-industry audience at the Palmer House Hilton.

    "It provides the ability to give your prospective travelers a preview of the experience," Georama founder and CEO Nihal Advani told attendees of the Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel and Tourism.

  • 2Feb'15

    Georama, Lurie Children's bring world to patients

    Georama, an interactive virtual travel company, is partnering with Lurie Children's Hospital, 225 E. Chicago Ave., to take patients who cannot leave the hospital on virtual adventures around the world.

    Georama and Lurie Children's kicked off their partnership in December by bringing the Christkindlmarket to patients at the hospital. The footage of the market was live-streamed to patients, and the children were able to interact with Christkind, the marketplace's mascot, by calling a direct line while she gave a digital tour around the market, said Nihal Advani, Georama's CEO and founder.

  • 30Jan'15

    Opening Virgin Hotels Chicago

    What a welcome for Virgin Hotels Chicago. From tucking a special guest into bed (more on that later!) to meeting some of the city's most promising entrepreneurs, from celebrating with all of the staff to throwing the kind of party only we know how, we launched our very first hotel in true Virgin style.


    Later on, I met with a great group of entrepreneurs for a roundtable discussion. They were bright sparks from 1871, Chicago's non-profit digital entrepreneur community: Howard Tullman, 1871's CEO; Kelly McCabe from Crowdtap, Nihal Advani, Georama, Matt Chapdelaine, HerbFront; Ed LaHood, MagicTags; Rod Rakic, OpenAirplane; Pere Rigo, Package Zen; Tricia Martinez, SHIFT; David Bakker, Weave the People; Jimmy Odom, WeDeliver; Betsy Fore, Wondermento; Connor Detjen, Selfie; and Pavan Bapu. Pavan's company Gramovox make the world's first Bluetooth gramophones, and we had a little dance to the apt Frank Sinatra classic, My Way (The Virgin Way!)

    Click here to read the full article

  • 23Jan'15

    Georama partners with Lurie Children's Hospital to give kids virtual tours

    Trips to Millennium Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry go hand-and-hand with being a kid in Chicago. But those outings are tough if you're a kid in a hospital.

    Georama wants to change that. The 1871-based interactive travel discovery platform, launched in 2012 by CEO Nihal Advani, has partnered with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital to take patients on virtual trips, the company announced this week. About 40 kids took part in a virtual visit to Christkindlmarket in December, and the tours will continue monthly at other attractions, Advani said.

  • 20Jan'15

    Georama Is Bringing 'Virtual Adventures' to Lurie Children's Patients Who Can't Leave the Hospital

    The hospital can be a scary place for kids, especially if they have to stay for an extended period of time. The constant in-and-out of doctors and regular tests, combined the the monotony of sitting day after day in the same hospital room can be a traumatic experience for a young child. So to ease their tensions and make the experience more exciting, a Chicago startup is bringing "virtual adventures" to Lurie Children's Hospital.

  • 20Jan'15
    1871 Logo

    1871 Member Georama Announces Partnership to Provide Virtual Adventures at Lurie Children's Hospital

    Georama, a company that helps people virtually experience a destination in real time via a guide, joined Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital today in a partnership that will create virtual adventures to be broadcast throughout the hospital.

    "Our technology has the potential to make a big social impact by providing experiences for those who are physically or financially unable to be somewhere," said Nihal Advani, Founder and CEO of Georama. "Lurie Children's is known for being an innovative organization that already has a dedicated Children's Services team that creates programming for patients and their families, and this enhances those opportunities."

    Georama began working with Lurie Children's last month when they produced a live virtual tour of Christkindlmarket Chicago. Working with Christkindlmarket organizers and their market mascot, Christkind, Georama facilitated a full tour of the market that featured Christkind showing the children each area of the market and interacting with vendors from toy shops, food stalls, sweets stores and souvenir shops. Christkindlmarket Chicago donated crowns and "passport" activity books for the children to use during the event.

  • 20Jan'15

    Six Chicago Startups That Are Ready to Expand into the Canadian Market

    Though many U.S. startups interpret "Expanding North" as simply launching into the Midwest, Chicago entrepreneurs look towards Canada when it's time to literally move up.

    Last week, INcubes - a Toronto-based accelerator - teamed up with 1871 for Going Global, a showcase for Chicago and Canadian startups that are ready to expand internationally into each other's respective markets. Held in Toronto, the event featured 10 early-stage companies operating in a variety of categories, including FinTech, CyberSecurity, and the Internet of Things.

    Explained 1871 CEO Howard Tullman, "It is critical for companies to be globally enabled from the earliest stages of their development in order to be successful in today's economy. With access to capital, customers and talent, Chicago is the best place for international companies to launch into the US market."

    Added Ben Zlotnick, Founder of INcubes, "Toronto is ranked in the top 10 for global startup ecosystems, but our companies cannot focus only on the domestic market. For our companies, global expansion is a necessity, not an option."

  • 15Jan'15

    Twitter's your ticket to invite-only 1871 event in Toronto

    If you're itching for a last-minute high-tech trip across the border, scratch no more.

    Tech innovation center 1871 and Toronto-based INcubes, a startup hub, are hosting Thursday an invite-only company event at Toronto's Telus House.

    Luckily for non-invitees and those of us who couldn't get out of the office for a quick jaunt to Canada, 1871 CEO Howard Tullman's giving us an inside look on Twitter. Follow along for pitches by nine companies from Chicago and Toronto – including appearances by local names such as TraknProtect, Dough, Georama, Xaptum, Buy Side Design and Omicron Financial.

    The event features Tullman, Toronto Mayor John Tory, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman and Google Canada's head, Sam Sebastian.

  • 16Dec'14

    An Unexpected Source of Innovation: Chicago Tech Center 1871 Expands

    Chicago is well known for being the heartland of manufacturing … but a center for technological innovation? Not so much so, many people would assume. However, as with many assumptions, nothing could be farther from the truth! In fact, according to a study conducted by the Illinois Innovation Council, Illinois ranks second in the nation (after California) in the number of high-tech startups.

    One of the catalysts for innovation in the city is Chicago's leading tech startup center, named 1871 after the famous Chicago fire. 1871 is positioned to cater to the growing tech and entrepreneurial community in the Chicagoland area where members will be able to take advantage of mentorship programs, educational sessions and meeting rooms.

  • 19Nov'14

    Fun New Travel Apps Tout Their Horns at Web Summit

    At the fourth annual Web Summit event in Dublin from November 4-6, 2014, 22,000 people from around the world came to see new gadgets, get cool demos and hear the latest scoop on where technology is heading. Since we love travel, we decided to spend a little time learning about what some of the new travel start-ups were up to on the show floor.

    While we mostly cover news and destinations for the luxury traveler, we threw in several apps into the mix that would be useful for hotels, airlines, property and guest house owners and even boat owners.

  • 14Oct'14
    Logo 1871

    1871 Expansion video with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, 1871 CEO Howard Tullman, and Georama Founder & CEO Nihal Advani

    CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman to officially open a major expansion of the innovative digital startup hub. The $2.5 million expansion, funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), will increase 1871's current size by 50 percent and create space for alumni companies, venture capital firms and several incubators, accelerators and programs. In total, the new space will allow 1871 to house approximately 400 companies within The Merchandise Mart. The announcement is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois' economy forward.

    The growth of our technology and innovation sectors are helping to drive Illinois' comeback," Governor Quinn said. "Since its inception, 1871 and its alumni companies have created more than 1,000 jobs, and this new space will allow the hub to expand and create more high-tech companies and good jobs right here in Illinois."

  • 25Aug'14

    Virtual tours now real-time with Georama's unique live tours

    Travel startup Georama has created a new product, a live video setup contained within a backpack that allows tour guides to offer live tours of destinations worldwide to an online audience.

    The startup has gone through a couple of pivots, starting as a trip planning service and moving into a SaaS vacation rental recommendation engine. This latest iteration allows tourism organizations, educational institutions and travel brands to offer interactive tours of destinations and travel products. This is a new way to market a place – basically, it's live marketing for travel.

  • 17Jul'14
    Logo Channel 9

    Nihal Advani, Founder & CEO of Georama

    Nihal is the Founder and CEO of Georama. They built an app for the Windows Store that helps you discover vacation ideas based on who is going, when you want to travel, your interests and more. Listen to his dev story and learn how with the help of the Microsoft BizSpark program, he was able to make his idea a reality.

    Click here to read the full article

  • 22Apr'14
    The Visa Trap 4-22-14

    The Visa Trap 4-22-14

    It's a familiar story: businesses want to hire talented foreigners but are hindered by U.S. immigration laws. Former immigrant turned CEO, Nihal Advani, talks with Bill Moller about what needs to change.

  • 16Apr'14
    American businesses losing out in antiquated immigration lottery

    American businesses losing out in antiquated immigration lottery

    By: Nihal Advani and Zach Haller

    Earlier this month, we learned that the winner of California's biggest-ever Powerball lottery jackpot has claimed his $242 million prize. Meanwhile, a different lottery did not get nearly the attention it deserved, even though its payout has far-reaching consequences for businesses and workers across the nation.

    On April 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting H-1B visa petitions for fiscal 2015's annual allotment of professional work visas. On April 10, the USCIS announced that 172,500 petitions — more than double the available visas — were received. This is up by more than 48,500 from last year. The subsequent lottery allowed applications for only 85,000 petitioners to be processed.

  • 19Mar'14
    Built In Chicago Launch alumni: where are they now?

    Built In Chicago Launch alumni: where are they now?

    Built In Chicago Launch is back! Like always, we are giving recently launched companies the chance to present in front of the Built In Chicago community. In the spirit of next week's event, we are checking in with a few Built In Chicago launch alumni from the past couple years to see where they are now.

    Georama is a platform to plan, book and share trips armed with a powerful recommendation engine. Their maps also serve as plug-and-play SaaS solutions for airlines and hotels chains.

    Presented at Built In Chicago Launch in: August 2012

  • 25Feb'14

    DCEO Announces Illinois Businesses Participating in International Digital Business Trade Show

    15 Illinois Companies to Showcase New Digital Products and Services to a Worldwide Audience

    ​CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced that 15 Illinois companies will showcase their new digital products and services to a worldwide audience at the Mobile World Congress. This week's gathering in Barcelona, Spain is expected to draw more than 72,000 people and will provide an unparalleled opportunity for Illinois companies to find international business leads. This is the first-ever participation by Illinois companies in the international event, and is part of Governor Pat Quinn's agenda laid out in his State of the State address to advance the high-tech industry in Illinois, creating jobs and driving the state's economy forward.

    "We have a terrific lineup of companies attending this event, and we look forward to helping them find new customers so they can play an ongoing role in our state's incredibly active digital scene," DCEO Director Adam Pollet said. "As Governor Quinn made clear in his State of the State address, we are aggressively pursuing every opportunity for high-tech business development in Illinois."

  • 11Feb'14
    Wind8Apps Logo

    Best Windows 8 App This Week: Georama, the Travel Guide

    Another week has started and Windows 8 readers all over the world have at their disposal the Windows Store for various tasks or needs. For this week's best Windows 8 app selection we have Georama, a really useful Windows 8 travel app.

  • 11Jan'14
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    Meet Georama, a BizSpark Startup Launching from Chicago

    Douglas Crets sits down to talk with Georama founder Nihal Advani.

  • 12Sep'13
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    1871 – Our Startup Community Connector

    Blog by Nihal Advani, Founder & CEO of Georama

    Nihal Advani Working out of 1871 has been very beneficial to Georama. Of course the space is amazing, but 1871 is much more than that. My favorite aspect of 1871 so far has been the office hours. Every week having the opportunity to meet with some of Chicago’s most accomplished individuals and experts across various fields has been invaluable. As a result of these office hours, Georama has raised money, brought on incredible advisors, and received volumes of strategic advice.

  • 09Sep'13
    Logo 1871

    Community Decides Top 10 Finalists for First Annual Coolest Startup Award

    The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) announced today the Top 10 finalists in the first annual Coolest Startup award in conjunction with the 6th Annual Momentum Awards to be held on October 2nd at Millennium Park.

    The Top 10 Finalists are:

    • Caremerge
    • Conferences.io
    • Fundology
    • Georama
    • Lock
    • Peter Field Custom
    • PrettyQuick
    • SceneTap
    • Shotfarm
    • StyleSeek
  • 16Aug'13
    Logo Silicon Prairie

    How to create unique user experiences and be a rock star startup

    I have been working with Chicago-based entrepreneur Nihal Advani for a while now. He is one of the most energetic and positive people I know. Nihal is the founder and chief executive officer of startup Georama, an online platform that streamlines the travel planning process from start to finish and I wanted to give you his insider perspective on the process of launching a digital platform as a young entrepreneur. In exploring the product itself, you can see how Georama strives to create a unique user experience and shines through!

    Allowing travelers to plan, book and share their trips, Georama conveniently allows you to explore destinations, create itineraries and visualize trips on a unique and interactive map. After inputting your needs, interests and must-haves, Georama sorts through your preferences to find destinations that are a fit. From there, you can plan your itinerary, make bookings and share your trip all in one place.

  • 27Jul'13
    Logo Chicago Times

    Andrew Mason talks immigration reform at Zuckerberg forum in Chicago

    Nihal Advani came to the U.S. from India to play college tennis and got a job at Microsoft after graduation, but couldn't get a work visa and had to move to Canada. Craig Ulliot is worried that he'll lose a promising young employee if she can't get an H-1B visa to stay in the U.S. and keep working at his startup.

    Such were the stories shared Friday by local entrepreneurs at a panel discussion on immigration reform held by FWD.us, a political advocacy group launched by Facebook founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg in April. Its supporters include Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. Andrew Mason, the co-founder and former CEO of Chicago-based Groupon, is also a financial contributor to FWD.us.

  • 25Jul'13
    Chicago Grid Logo

    An entrepreneur who ends his workday at 4 a.m.

    Georama founder Nihal Advani is used to working 11½ hours apart from his team.

    Nihal on Chicago Grid's Page more...
  • 16Jul'13
    logo Crains Chicago Business

    A DIY city guide, a dine-in cinema, and more

    New in Chicago is just that: a listing of ventures getting off the ground in and around Chicago.

    Crain's contributor Robert Loerzel brings you news of fresh local startups every Tuesday.

    Georama: Based in Chicago, Georama.com launched last year, helping travelers come up with ideas for vacations and to plan, book and share those trips. Last week, it introduced a Windows 8 mobile app. “The Georama application will focus on helping Windows 8 users find the perfect vacation for them,” founder and CEO Nihal Advani says in a news release. The app suggests vacation destinations based on how users answer questions about themselves and the sort of experience they want. The company says it plans to introduce versions of the app compatible with other mobile devices in December.

    View full article here

  • 08Jul'13
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    Georama Wins “Best Presenter” Award At New York Venture Summit

    Chicago, Il. – Georama (http://www.georama.com), a travel planning website that helps travelers find vacations and plan, book, and share them, announces that its founder and chief executive officer, Nihal Advani, received the award for “best presenter” in the technology category of the New York Venture Summit on June 18, 2013. Georama, selected as one of the top 50 top innovators, attended and presented at the 13th annual New York Venture Summit last month. This premier industry gathering, created by youngStartup Ventures, connects the nation’s top startups with an exclusive audience of venture capitalists, investors, and strategic partners.

  • 04Jun'13
    logo Microsoft BizSpark

    Featured Startup - Georama

    The CEO of Georama, Nihal Advani, says that he's most excited that his company is set to disrupt the travel industry and that in doing so, he has the support of Microsoft.  The company recently launched a Windows 8 app

    According to Nihal, who spent five years at Microsoft in several roles,  "Georama’s mission is to provide savvy travelers with the most powerful tools before, during, and after their trips, making the entire travel process convenient and fun."

    BizSpark:  Tell us who you are and your role in the company:

  • 06Mar'13
    Suntimes logo

    Microsoft's CEO: Chicago needs startup growth anchor

    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer praised Chicago's tech startup companies Wednesday, but he said Chicago still needs a viable "anchor tenant" to really get on the map.

    He described Groupon as still emerging and said Motorola Mobility is in flux, suggesting perhaps someone in the audience could be that "anchor tenant."

    He said Chicago has the necessary ingredients of first-class universities, venture-capital companies and an attractive quality of life, but needs one or two large companies that have "made it" in the tech field.

  • 19Feb'13
    Tasty Trade Logo

    Bootstrapping with Nihal Advani of Georama

    Tom and Tony talk with Nihal Advani of Georama. Georama is a one-stop solution that lets travelers plan, book, and share their trips on a one-of-a-kind interactive map.

    We help travelers from start to finish -- partnering with several top sites to offer the best travel content and fares, therefore eliminating the need to go to many different sites. Georama provides travelers with an immersive experience and unmatched tools to find destinations, create itineraries, and visualize trips.

    It was a pleasure having Nihal on the show!

    Tasty Trade Video
  • 08Feb'13

    How to Market on Facebook, From the Best in Chicago

    Last week, Crain's Chicago Business announced the top social media marketers in the city. Among the honorees was travel startup Georama, which placed third overall in the Reader's Choice category and first for the Best Use of Facebook.

    We caught up with founder and CEO Nihal Advani for some insight into his company's exceptional use of one of the most important social media tools in the world.

  • 28Jan'13
    logo Crains Chicago Business

    Chicago's social-marketing standouts

    Nowadays, every company must be a social company. But what does an effective social marketing campaign really look like? Crain's asked readers to nominate the Chicago companies they think are doing the best job of using social media to communicate with customers, promote products and services, and find new audiences. Among the scores of ideas that came our way, these social media campaigns emerged as among the very best.

    Best Use of Facebook: Georama

    15,000 likes; 156 timeline photos; had more than 230,000 actions on page in three-month period

  • 21Sep'12

    High hopes: meet a start-up that aims to be the 'Apple of travel'

    Start-ups in the travel industry continue to focus on simplifying the whole travel planning and booking process. Be it for inspiring travellers for their next holiday to luring them into planning an unplanned trip to finding the best deal, new business models continue to emerge.

  • 06Aug'12

    Georama Experimented with 30 Student Employees--and Came out on Top

    Former Microsoft employee Nihal Advani has been working on the idea for his start-up, a map-based travel site called Georama, since 2010. But things really started kicking into gear this summer when he invited some serious manpower on board: roughly 30 new employees.

  • 26Jul'12

    Georama Launches World's First Map-Based Online Travel Platform

    A one-stop solution for travelers: Georama lets you plan, book, and share your travel on aninteractive map.

    Chicago-based Georama announced the public beta launch of the world's only map-based online travel platform which lets travelers bypass the hassle of juggling multiple websites to plan, book, and share their trips.

  • 23Jul'12

    Georama's Map-Based Travel Search Service Goes Live

    Chicago-based Georama is now launching what it calls a "map-based travel platform." In layman's terms, that's a travel search service that's entirely based on top of a map. It can either suggest places for you to go based on your interests or other factors (e.g. time of year), or, if you already have a few places in mind, you can use Georama to explore things like local attractions and activities, restaurants, nightlife, weather, news, deals and more.

    Georama Plan Hotel

    The company has bootstrapped itself to $250,000 and raised another $250,000 from undisclosed New York angels a couple of months ago.

  • 19Apr'12

    Travel on a Map -- Georama Takes an Interactive Approach to Re-Imagining Travel

    SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire -04/19/12)- Today, Chicago-based startup Georama, unveiled the world's first end-to-end leisure travel platform at the prestigious DEMO Spring 2012 conference, a launchpad for emerging technology. Connecting the best content, fares, and social networks from across the web, Georama is the only platform that allows travelers to plan, book, and share their trip in one place. It takes a unique approach by basing the entire site on a one-of-a-kind interactive map, thereby offering a truly engaging experience.

    "Georama was built to take on some key frustrations faced by travelers today. Seeing that the online travel process is inefficient and could use some innovation, we envisioned an all-in-one platform that would bring the best of the best together to serve the needs of travelers," said Founder & CEO of Georama, Nihal Advani, when asked about how the concept came about.

  • 18Apr'12

    Georama reimagines travel with interactive maps

    Presentation at DEMO

    Georama About

    Lots of travel sites are vying for your attention. Georama hopes to grab you by simplifying the process of planning, booking, and sharing your travel plans.

    The site uses a map of the world as its user interface, and users click on pushpin icons to drill down on a planned trip or a location that they want to visit. The company says that anybody who has ever had to book a complex trip with multiple legs will care about this application because it simplifies the process.

    As you click, Georama pulls up a selection of your friends who live at that location or have traveled there recently. You can browse through their recommendations on what to do as you explore that city. Then you can click through to book your hotel or airfare. Once you've traveled, you can share your videos, photos, and other memoirs on the site.