Sharing the Granola Travel Lifestyle Online

General Mills’ Nature Valley brand created a technology-packed travel site with an emphasis on outdoor locations and activities. The plan is to use consumer-generated media (CGM) to become a resource for active travel planners.

The “Where’s Yours?” site aims to be an interactive community of people who want to find U.S. outdoor travel destinations. According to the company, almost half of Americans spend a week or more to research vacation and weekend getaway spots, most using travel sites and word-of mouth. The site incorporates both by getting users to tag their favorite outdoor spots and submit reviews on a Google Map-like interface.

Marketing campaigns leveraging Google Maps and similar technologies have grown popular in recent months. Nike launched Run London using a similar concept to an early mashup, Gmaps Pedometer. HBO recently licensed technology from Google Maps to create a campaign for the new season of “The Sopranos.”

In addition to user-submitted postings, Nature Valley enlisted the National Park Foundation, the Association of Volleyball Professionals and the U.S. Ski team to provide expert reviews in particular locations.

Visitors can sign up for weekly or monthly email digests listing entries in selected locations or activities. The site also uses RSS so visitors can track ongoing dialogue for particular location tags.

To encourage submissions by users, Nature Valley is sponsoring a contest that will run through September 30 of this year. Visitors can win a trip for four to any tagged location in the U.S. by submitting an original essay describing a favorite nature spot. Photos can also be attached to submissions.

Company officials were unavailable to answer questions about plans to drive traffic to the “Where’s Yours?” site.

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