I’d never before heard of Schmap, but the digital travel guide came across one of my snaps of Kealakekua and has shortlisted it for inclusion in the second edition of the Schmap Hawaiian Islands Guide, to be published early April 2008. Here’s the shot:
So, of course I had to poke around Schmap for a bit, see what this new travel/photo site is all about. I like the concept — view map, see photos of plotted locations, read brief description — but the UI needs some work, as it requires a bit too much clicking to get to the various areas. Also, it looks like the site is relying heavily on provider content, which, having worked with some of these same providers, I know can be both a blessing and a curse.
There’s also a very limited number of destinations. Considering they have provider feeds, they could be working on upping their SEO by at least having the outline for some other locations laid out. They have the Big Island but not Oahu? They have a downloadable version of Honolulu and many others, but where are the online versions being hidden away?
Widgets, of course, are all the rage, so Schmap made a smart move in providing a customizable map that can be used on blogs and other websites, and it looks professional enough that they’ve showcased some pretty big companies that are using the funky little device. Very schmart, Schmap.
For a new-ish site, Schmap is off to a pretty strong start. But if they’d like some help from an experienced editor/producer of travel websites, I can think of someone they can come to for some consulting. (Ahem.)