SceneSpotter is Lufthansa’s latest advancement in it’s Social Media endeavors and this one promises to be another success.

SceneSpotter is designed to be a shared Facebook App among “Social Media” friends and strangers alike and allows users to share their favorite places throughout Cities in Europe (plans exist to expand it to other Countries). The basic premise of SceneSpotter is to encourage users to share their favorite, albeit not necessarily popular “spots”, in their favorite Cities. SceneSpotter is designed for people to leave recommendations for others covering themes such as Dining, Night Life, Lodging (via Airbnb – see below), Cultural Significance, Nature/Greenspace, Shopping, Hidden Gems and Family Friendly Activities.

I was part of the ‘beta testing’ team prior to the official SceneSpotter launch and you can take my word for it that this is an App that deserves a spot in your “Favorites” or “Bookmarks”. The ability to have real-time information and advice on places to see and visit makes this especially valuable. This app can replace the traditional city guides that most travelers currently use. SceneSpotter lets you use your SmartPhone, Computer or iPad to unlock the best that a city has to offer.

The technology behind SceneSpotter is fairly straight forward. The App is powered through Facebook and Google Maps. Users can enter the name and address of the place they would like to recommend and the app will automatically populate the SceneSpotter map with the appropriate icon based on the themes I mentioned earlier. Additionally users can provide the website address for the location so that others can learn more about the recommended “Scene”.

Lets take a deeper look at SceneSpotter and how it works:

The Home Screen lets the user pick the Country, followed by choosing a City (please bear in mind that SceneSpotter will be adding Cities and Countries as the App is expanded and content added). For this example I used Vienna, Austria:

Choose the Country:

Choose the City:

After you make your selections, you will be brought to a screen with a map of your chosen City. The map will be tagged with existing recommendations that have been made by SceneSpotter users. In the upper right hand corner of the map you’ll notice 8 icons that represent each of the SceneSpotter ‘Themes’. Clicking on any of icons will only show that ‘Theme’ on the map.

You’ll notice that there is an “Add A Place” tab at the bottom of the map. Clicking on it will take you to the location entry window:

Once you add your recommended place, it will be populated to the map and will look like this when someone brings it up from the map. You’ll notice the option to save it as a place you ‘Plan To Visit’ or to ‘Recommend’ it to other users:

As you can see, SceneSpotter is very easy to use. Within 2 or 3 screens, you can enter your recommendations or find those left by other users. The App is designed to integrate with Facebook so you can share your plans and recommendations with your ‘Social Family’ and they can share their experiences with you. It’s this interaction that makes this App so valuable.

Additionally, here is a fantastic Youtube video highlighting the features and benefits of SceneSpotter:

In my opinion, SceneSpotter has the potential to be a powerful tool. While most other Apps (like Trip Advisor, etc) focus on popular “spots” to visit, SceneSpotter’s objective is to allow users to share recommendations with each other based on personal experiences that are not necessarily mainstream. It is these kind of recommendations that I think will allow travelers to discover parts of a city normally not known to the typical tourist. I know from my personal travel experiences my favorite memories have come from experiencing places referred to me by others that in most cases “traditional tourists” never have a chance to see for themselves.

To get a closer look at SceneSpotter, visit the App’s page on Facebook and start sharing your travel ideas.

Earlier I mentioned Airbnb when referring to the ‘Lodging’ theme. Airbnb is a global directory of lodging available for travelers looking to rent homes, apartments, etc. when visiting a city as opposed to booking a typical hotel room. This allows visitors to immerse into the local neighborhoods of a city and really get a feel for it.

We did this when we visited Rome last year and I would recommend it to anyone. We discovered restaurants and cultural points of interest that we never would have found by staying in a Hotel. We were immersed among locals and felt like we experienced a side of Rome that tourists would normally not see. Airbnb also allows you to list your own properties if you wish to make them available for travelers to use. For more information, you can visit www.Airbnb.com.

SceneSpotter” would not have been possible without the expertise of Torben, Lucie und die gelbe Gefahr (TLGG). Based in Germany, TLGG specializes in developing and integrating Social Media driven applications that can be deployed based on a client’s needs. I have gotten to know a few of their associates and am truly impressed with their capabilities. They have created some great Apps for Lufthansa, and more are coming!

For more information on TLGG, please visit their website at www.tlgg.de.

If you missed Lufthansa’s launch of another great App called Blue Legends last week, please read my article regarding it’s launch last week.