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Archives for the month of: July, 2012

It’s only been four months that the GuideWriters went online, but the idea itself goes way back. 13 years to be exact. Andreas, one of the founders, has been all over the place travelling through Europe, Asia andAfricaever since he was a student.  The latter, he and his friends visited travelling mainly by car or motorcycle. As his mechanic and his paramedic skills weren’t really of much use, the only job available in his traveller-clique was copying numbers.

Hence, he took over the tour planning and copied literally hundreds of numbers from travel guides, into the computer and then into the GPS unit. Fortunately, Reise Know-How, as one of the very first publishers, already provided GPS coordinates in all their description of places. As you can imagine, even though still laborious, at least one came up with a reliable result.

Using existing GPS files out of various online forums would have been much faster, but it always left you with a queasy stomach feeling. Honestly – who wants to stand in the middle of theSahara, and discover only then that the coordinates are incomplete or incorrect…omg!

Today, 13 years later and thanks to some technical inventions, Andreas doesn’t have to sit around copying numbers anymore but he can devote himself to other tasks. Like explaining to publishers that there is now a much easier way to digitalise available content for smart phones – including GPS data, for example. And of course – how to monetise it via an in-app purchase. We are therefore very happy not only for Andreas but also for you,  that Reise Know-How now offers a digital version of their guides: Because with this CityTrip travel series you will get high-quality city guides as an ideal supplement to the book. So get your suitcases packed and have a lovely holiday!

Whenever we explain the GuideWriters concept, there’s always one word coming up – travel guide. It is kind of logical – as we currently do and in future always definitely will provide guides that are structured like classical travel guides. One of the USPs of GuideWriters though is the fact, that we also provide a platform for topics beyond mainstream. Specialists of any niche topic can easily create a guide, e.g. focussed on music or a certain band.

For U2 for example, Berlin is one of the most important cities in their successful career. It was almost obvious to create a guide containing all the places, where the Irish band left their traces. A word and a blow – the online platform www.u2tour.de has created a U2tour.de Travelguide Berlin. We met Björn Lampe, who at U2tour.de is responsible for web 2.0.

Who are you and what is your idea behind U2tour.de?

With U2tour.de we offer the biggest independent German speaking U2 fan website – for more than ten years already. The site provides all the information a U2 fan requires – starting with the most recent news up to a very detailed tour data base which contains information on where the band performed and for example which song they sang. In addition to that we are happy to have a very active community – a forum where fans can easily communicate with each other.

How did you and the GuideWriters come together?

I had already heard about the concept and had put it on my to-do-list. I then saw that the boys/girls of Coffe Circle – that’s where we get our coffee from – wrote their own guide and how easy it actually is to get started.

What was your motivation to create a guide?

We already started some time ago to assemble travel tips for U2 fans: places that have played a role in the long history of the band. Those tips were accumulated on a website and could be downloaded as pdf. It was ok but kind of complicated. The GuideWriters’ guides are of course way more up-to-date and more practical. Since we had already collected the content, it was easy digitalize them into a guide.

Would you have developed a regular App without the GuideWriters App?

Sooner or later I guess. But of course it would have been more expensive and it would have taken way longer.

Who will download your guide?

Real U2 fans of course, that want to follow the traces of their favourite band. There is also a trend towards thematic guided tours, so that there will be some other customers outside the community, too.

Are you going to publish more guides?

Yes, we already have the content for a Dublin U2 Guide. Once we have updated the information, we will provide the guide as a service to our users.

What should not be missed in Berlin by U2 fans?

Of course there are many spots, but especially worth mentioning are the legendary Hansa studios that before the German reunification were an important place – not only for Iggy Pop, Depeche Mode and David Bowie. U2 recorded parts of their masterpiece “Achtung Baby” here.

Also not to be missed is the Kant Kino. Located in Berlin-Charlottenburg Berlin is was the location of the first Berlin concert of U2. Next to Hamburg and Munich, it was the first time they ever performed in Germany. Today it is a nice indie cinema far away from the large Cineplexe with an exciting program.