Travel. It can be both a blessing and a curse. And if you're a frequent traveler - especially for business - you're likely among the thousands of people wondering "Just how far did I travel, last year?"
Unfortunately, frequent flyer miles will only provide so much detail. That's why the latest project from Dopplr - the site that helps you keep track of your comings and goings, as well as those of your friends - is so interesting. They're offering to answer a variety of travel history questions by providing Dopplr users with Personal Annual Reports that will help them visualize their travel during 2008.
The annual reports provide an intriguing amount of detail about personal travel habits including a timeline of travel dates and destinations, crossover with friends, length of stay plotted on a map, and carbon spent during travel. They've also done a nice job of incorporating their city pages feature, making the reports aesthetically pleasing, as well.
As the Dopplr team gathers data for each individual, there will likely be some interesting metrics and trends that appear at the macro level, too. We remain hopeful that Dopplr will choose to publish an aggregate view of travels for all users. They've already hinted at one interesting aggregate metric.
Travelers who used Dopplr to record trips in 2008 should expect their reports to arrive by email, this week. In the meantime, the Dopplr team has released a sneak peak of the reports. The subject? What United States President-elect Barack Obama's Dopplr account might look like if he had one:
If you're a frequent traveler who hasn't yet tried Dopplr, perhaps 2009 would be a good year to give it a try. At the very least, you'll have a better picture of where you spent your time this year - even if you don't really want to answer the question of how many miles you logged.