I am starting this year with a really demanding personal challenge to create even more value for you: 12 months = 12 new big content or feature upgrades to Locationscout.
The last year has been a challenge for all of us around the world, keeping a distance from people we love to protect them, homeschooling or simply staying at home during a lockdown while canceling trips that were already planned and looked forward to for a long time. I feel that working even harder is the best I can do to thank you guys for all your support while traveling is simply not possible or just in a very limited radius.
While Around Me, one of the main features of the iOS and Android app, was already launched during the pandemic to help you find beautiful places nearby on the go, I want to raise my bar and add 12 big content or feature upgrades this year. This also means, that I really appreciate any feature request in the comments below or simply via mail to contact[at]locationscout.net. Most of these improvements will be free for all and some will be exclusive to premium subscribers because that's currently the income stream that enables me to invest more and more time into this platform. You can read more about that in my post iOS & Android App - Behind the Scenes.
January - Learn Section
In January, I launched the new Learn Section, which is basically like Amazon Prime Video for travelers and photographers with growing high-quality video content added on top for free to each premium subscription. Articles stay free forever. All this wouldn't be possible without awesome content creators like Aliaume Chapelle, Melanie "Fototante" John, Albert Dros, Mathias Koch or the iPhone Photography School.
February - Performance
In this month we tripled our server infrastructure with an entirely new basis to reach faster loading times (up to 3x more speed) while still reducing the monthly hosting costs and enabling us to scale limitlessly. After hundreds of tests and months of work, it was finally time to make the shift and switch to the new infrastructure. Besides that, we invested a lot of time to improve pages that became slow because of more and more data like the home feed, which is now up to 10x (!!) faster than before due to lots of performance improvements on how data is loaded. This is just the beginning and we will keep working on improving the performance for the next few months.
I said "we" because of Stephan, who is currently helping me a lot to manage the growth and update the platform infrastructure to an entirely new level and therefore deserves a huge thank you for being available during times that nobody could expect from any employee or freelancer... and I am very thankful but also sorry for that. ;-)
March - Weather
The weather is one of the most important factors for a great landscape photo. That's why Locationscout will now show the current weather for each spot around the world in real-time. This feature is free for everybody and you just need to be logged in. And for all our friends from the United States, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Cayman Islands, Liberia, the Bahamas, and Belize, I made sure to set the temperature to Fahrenheit, which can be changed in the profile settings at any time. You can learn more about this in the specific article New Feature: Weather.
Besides that, Stephan and I did improve the page speed again by around 10-15% and we have 4 new awesome video tutorials in our Learn Section.
April - License-Feature
Nowadays, stock-image platforms are taking up to 85% of the revenue while forcing the photographers to fixed prices which result in earnings of less than 10 Cents per image sold. I am a photographer myself and as the founder / solo developer of this platform, I simply can't accept the status quo. That's why I am introducing a new license feature this month. Earn money via Locationscout by offering your photos for licensing. No middleman fee, 100% your revenue. Learn more
May - Verified Profiles + Profile Tooltips
We are 62.000+ travelers and photographers already, so it's definitely time to give more of you a chance to highlight your beautiful galleries with features like the new verified profiles. This is just a first step and my goal is to make all the awesome people inside this community even more visible within this year. Verified profiles are indicated by a small check behind the name in spots, comments, the feed, and in the profile. I will try to verify active and long-time users manually on a regular basis and you can also write me a mail if you feel that your profile should be verified.
Besides that, I am experimenting with a new profile tooltip that's shown when you hover profile images in the feed or below spot images to get more details about this photographer immediately.
June - 50+ Location Guides
This month is more about content and therefore there are over 50 new high quality Location Guides within popular locations like Hawaii, Florida, The Hague and many more. You can find the entire list in our Location Section.
All of this wouldn't have been possible without Bianka, who wrote most of these texts and did a fantastic job researching and gathering all the information needed to visit these places.
July - Spots Nearby Feature
The Spots Nearby Feature was already available for Premium users in the app and now it's also available on the website, making planning a trip a lot more convenient because you immediately see spots that you can combine and visit together. Besides that, the map is now 15% bigger.
If you are Premium, you can enable this feature within each spot by simply clicking the button in the top left of the map.
When selecting a spot, an overlay exactly tells you the distance and calculates walking time plus the shortest route, which is then shown on the map as a blue path.
This section will be updated on a monthly basis, so stay tuned.