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New App Promises To ‘Fill The Gap’ Between Google And Yelp With HyperLocal Content

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — If you’ve found yourself racking your brain to remember the name of a restaurant or a kids’ karate class someone recommended, a new mobile app is promising to be the solution.

Former television news anchor Lisa McRee is a full-time mom with a passion for sharing healthy recipes with friends and collaborating with other moms in L.A. on where to explore the outdoors with her kids.

She was introduced to MeeLocal, an app that allows her to compile a personal Rolodex of her favorite places right onto her smartphone and iPad, share tips with her friends and vice versa.

“I think moms like to share with each other,” she said.

“Right now I have to pick up the phone and say, ‘Hey, I want to take kids to Santa Monica, where should I go to ride bikes? Where should I go to eat?'”

The app works by allowing users to upload photos for everyone to see. The images are automatically linked to important information through geo-tagging, allowing others using it to view the address, phone number and map of a location you recommend.

“Not only will it help my friends know where I’ve gone… it’s going to help me know where I’ve gone,” she said.

Similar to Yelp, users can search a business based on categories like proximity or location.

But what makes MeeLocal unique is that you’re taking recommendations from someone you know and view photos they have personally posted.

The app also has a unique age filter, allowing searches by ranges like “Teens”, “Collegiate”, “Young Working Pro” and “Adult”.

It’s the brainchild of photographer Stephen Danelian, who was looking for a better way to share information when he began working on the concept back in 2011.

“I got so tired of doing all this and sending and making lists. I was like, ‘There’s got to be a better way,’ and I just came up with the idea,” he said.

In addition to local restaurants and leisure activities, Danelian says MeeLocal could also change the way we travel.

McRee rents out her home in Maine and says MeeLocal will save her time now that she no longer needs to compile and email links to renters on what to see and do… like where to rent kayaks.

“That’s one of those things I want to share with people. Boom, took me two seconds, we were on the lake, take a picture of my friends and kids kayaking and say, ‘Here’s where you get ‘em,'” she said.

Danelian believes the HyperLocal approach to user-generated content will help subscribers to connect virtually in a way similar to how we share recommendations in the real world.

“I think MeeLocal is doing something on the mobile phone that we have been doing all of our lives which is, ‘Hey, I went to this great restaurant,’ or, ‘I’m coming into town, where do I go eat, what do I go do?” he explained.

“By sharing that information, you’re helping someone save time, save money and sharing something that you really like with people you like,” he said.

MeeLocal has been around for just two months and will be available to Android users at the end of this month.

As a privacy precaution, MeeLocal suggests uploading photos after you leave a location and also recommends not posting photos from a private residence.

To learn more about the app, visit the MeeLocal website.

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