For all the writing we've done about travel apps in the last year, there have been few that have inspired an honest-to-goodness geek-out. Well, the first geek shriek of 2013 went to dcovery, a fantastic little number out of Canada and France released late in 2012 ($3.99 for iPhone and iPod Touch).
The app's basic function is a research tool for travel planning, but it is chock full of useful tidbits as well. At its simplest, dcovery is a repository for your online meanderings. When you download the app and sign up for an account, install the Place Finder bookmarklet on your bookmarks bar. Then, as you come across a point of interest on websites or blogs, highlight the destination, and dcovery will map it for you. You can even add photos to the entry. Your account syncs between Place Finder and your iPhone, allowing you to assemble your own travel guide on the go.
Just looking to browse? A search function in the app lets you browse within a destination. Once a POI (that's a point of interest, for the uninitiated) is saved, dcovery will help you get there with detailed directions in its map view, as well as link to the POI's website and to the original article.
On your iPhone, each guide is organized by city, and each POI is organized by category within the city as part of a simple streamlined interface. There's even a taxi mode—when you have a destination on your phone, rotate the phone to a horizontal position, and the address displays big and bold for your driver.
The only downside so far has been a bit of lag time during the sync between Place Finder and the app. Ultimately, it's a small price to pay for a hyper-customized, easily accessible guide in the palm of your hand, filled with the information you deem important.
Photo credit: Courtesy of dcovery