Saturday, January 14, 2017

Naver's Recommended Courses (해외여행 코스추천): itineraries for overseas trips


Naver continues to add immediate info features similar to the "card" style used by Google's Knowledge Graph. This time, a new feature is instant "Course Recommendations" for trips abroad, or 해외여행 코스추천.

Basically, you type in a major world city name, plus the term "course" (코스, but probably better translated here as 'route' or 'itinerary') and you get back immediate suggested attractions, sites, and places to visit based on aggregated 'big data' from popular reviews by real travelers. You can then choose from several numbered "courses" that feature prepared itineraries based on things like time, distance between locations, theme, etc.  It also provides links to travel blogs that feature writings, photos, and reviews of the suggested places.

Here's the official promotional image from Naver.

Naver "Recommended Course" itenaries promo. Image: Naver

You can see there two sample courses side-by-side for Singapore. With this info you could just follow the route from one spot to the next, and it includes convenient distance and estimated walking times.

Something I find interesting is how this makes use of Google Maps data. This is a very convenient feature for Korean tourists travelling abroad, but it seems ironic that they utilize Google's vast worldwide mapping capabilities to provide the service, while foreign tourists to Korea cannot have the same convenience. I remember how shocking it was to open up Google Maps in Japan, and it just… worked. I forget how limited it is in Korea compared to other locations. But I digress.

I tried for myself to see what they would offer for London. Here's the list of Courses they suggest:

Naver recommended courses for London

  1. 시내 투어 - Downtown Tour
  2. 야경 추천코스 - Night Scenery Tour
  3. #야경 #박물관 - #Nightscene, #Museums
  4. #박물관 #궁궐 - #Museums, #Palaces
  5. #스콘 #촬영지 - #Scones, #OnLocation 
And so on. For example, Recommended Course #1 is called the 시내 투어 or Downtown Tour, and includes stops at the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abby, etc.Course #5 focuses on cute cafes and filming locations of famous movies. It's easy to see how this could be a very convenient guide for Korean tourists heading abroad.

Here's the Course #1 itinerary in detail:

Naver's Recommended Course #1 for London

Naver suggests their sample recommended courses for these cities: 싱가포르 여행코스, 홍콩 코스추천, 오사카 코스, 베이징 자유여행코스. As you can see, just add 코스 to any city name to trigger the special results. It seems to work just for big cities. Sorry Tallahassee.

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