Open source trip planning application offers alternative to other servicesNewsBy Nick Vivion | November 5, 2013Share This article was originally published on A developer has created the foundation of a trip planning service, called MyWanderlust, and has open sourced the code for others to tweak as they see fit.The trip planning space has been very crowded as of late, with some seeing trip planning as still broken while others in the industry caution against further investment.Developer Dane Jensen, who is responsible for the trip planning tool, saw an opportunity to help users make a simple list of places to visit for a trip.The tool uses Foursquare to populate the available city data. Users can type in a city destination, and then start to add items to their map for the particular trip - in the case below, the author has populated data from his home 'hood in Bywater, LA. As they come across specific places they want to see, they type in the business name and then can add it to their list. This allows less for discovery and more for direct management of interesting places to visit and things to do during a particular trip.Tnooz posed a few questions to Jensen about the background and vision for this open-sourced project.Please tell me more about the project, and your personal background.I graduated from Brown University '09 after a short time living in the Bay Area I moved to Austin. I'm a software developer who runs a small business selling socks: www.sockclub.com.The idea for the project came when my girlfriend and I were planning a trip to New Orleans. We had all these great recommendations from friends but they were just names of places without any more information.My girlfriend Cassie used Google Maps to make a map of the recommended places to help plan. The map made our trip more manageable and less stressful. While making this map with Google Maps was possible it definitely wasn't ideal. I thought I could make a service aim directly at this use case.Why did you start it? I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn AngularJS and iPhone development.Why did you decide to open source it?I'd been working on it for two months by myself. I tried to convince my software developing buddies to work on it with me with no luck. I was losing steam on developing it and it was in danger of becoming another project that was gathering virtual dust on my hard drive. So it was a desperate effort to find developers to help and breath life into something that was dying.What developments have you seen since you opened up the code? I've connected with multiple developers interested in helping on different aspects of the project.What is wrong with the current travel planning landscape that you hoped to fix with the product?Most of the applications are geared toward selling you something. I wanted to make a piece of software that did something super simple. It was just a bag of places that you could collaborate on with as many or as few people as you wanted. If your software does something super simple extremely well I think it can be very powerful and people will find uses for it you couldn't imagine.Looking forward, what is your near-to-medium term vision for the product's development? I just hope to get other developers to contribute.--- The MyWanderlust trip planning tool can be explored here.NB: Open source freedom image courtesy Shutterstock.