Home » Technology » Sherpa turns Instagram’s best photos into a travel guide


There are a number of places to find travel inspiration — Pinterest, Google Destinations, travel blogs or media sites like Condé Nast’s Traveler, among others. But a new application called Sherpa launching this week believes that some of the best travel ideas can be found on Instagram. The iOS application curates photos from top Instagram photographers and turns them into visual travel guides that are augmented with data from other services, like Foursquare and Wikipedia.

Sherpa co-founder and CEO Paul Aaron previously founded NYC-based design studio Modern Assembly, which worked with brands like Coca-Cola, UNICEF, Droga5, The Climate Reality Project and even The Rock (Dwayne Johnson). He also spent several years heading digital at Silver + Partners, and previously Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

“Sherpa came about when the digital design and development studio I founded, Modern Assembly, was asked to pitch ideas for a leading travel review website,” explains Aaron. “As I dug into their business, it became apparent to me that the review system itself was creating an experience that was cumbersome, difficult to contribute to, and prone to fraud.”

“The idea for Sherpa was to use the photos we already share everyday to create a travel planning experience that is more authentic, emotionally resonant, and easy to contribute to,” says Aaron.

The startup is currently working with more than 2,000 Instagram photographers — or, as it calls them, “micro-influencers” — across 90 countries. This includes names like Andrew Kearns, Roman Koenigshofer, Marianne Hope, Sean Byrne, Kirsten Alana, Irina, Patrick Florian and Lukas Elias Winkler, among others.

Sherpa takes their content and turns it into guides that appeal to a variety of types of travelers — ranging from backpackers to adventurers to luxury travelers and more. At launch, more than 500,000 geotagged photos have been organized into 15,000 travel guides that are presented in the app as…

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