It’s a little bit like Plazes (which tracks my current location) with the important difference that it lets me book trips in the future, and thus benefit from knowing that I might be in the same city as a friend before it happens rather than while it’s happening.
(You’ll spot Andy Piper in the above screenshot, who recently mentioned Dopplr on his own blog.)
The one small problem I had was getting it to recognise the English city of Warwick. As a result, the map (which includes next week’s Manchester – Warwick – home trip) shows a false detour to the US…
(The flight north-west is for Iceland Airwaves later this year.)
Dopplr is currently closed-beta but if you travel a lot you’d do well to keep an eye on it. Matt Biddulph gave a sneak preview on Flickr of one potentially interesting thing he might do with the aggregated data: sparklines of city popularity over time show easily distinguishable spikes for the major conferences. Nice.
I’d quite like to be able to open up my profile for everyone to see, not just friends. If you’re already a user, and we know each other even a little bit, please do add me and I’ll reciprocate. Perhaps, once in open beta, making the profile visible to all might become a user preference.
As with most examples of declarative living, the unexpected consequences and emergent properties are what bring the real value. As more friends use it, the more interesting coincidences will occur and the more beer will be consumed as friends get together rather than miss those opportunities. That’s what it’s all about really. More beer.