Pin Drop Ensures You Won’t Forget that Special Place, Whatever and Wherever it May Be

Oh, how I wish the Pin Drop app was developed before the summer of 2006! In case you haven’t caught on to this wildly successful…

Oh, how I wish the Pin Drop app was developed before the summer of 2006! In case you haven’t caught on to this wildly successful app, it’s similar to EightSpots and Stamped, except that users can mark both places and products and also specific areas that aren’t necessarily entities in themselves. The basic idea is simple: mark on a map the places you find especially great so that you or your friends can go back.

Pin Drop, developed by Caffeinehit, is really an all-in-one when considering the currently available location-based recommendation apps. Dropping a “Pin” somewhere, anywhere in the world, does more than place a marker. It adds to your personal database of markings so that the app can continue to improve the accuracy of the places it recommends. This is a lot like the EightSpots “taste profile,” which works well because it’s the more advanced way of finding places, goods, or services you’ll enjoy. Among the themed recommendations Pin Drop provides are movies, TV, and drinking and eating venues.

There are ups and downs to this strategy, of course. In July, 2006, I flew out to Bologna, Italy, where I would spend a month with 30 other kids my age learning the language and terrorizing the town (not really). Fortunately for us, and every other Italian on Earth for that matter, Italy had made the World Cup final against France, held in Berlin. We got to Bologna two days before the game, which they obviously won in dramatic fashion, enticing the antics of French player Zinedine Zidane and taking it all in a shootout. The result was that we had never witnessed a happier nation of people. This kicked things off the right way, but one cannot Pin a momentous occasion like this.

So where does Pin Drop tie in, and why do I wish I had a smartphone with this app back then? First you should know that Bologna is the gastronomic capital of Italy, an astounding honor to have. The vast majority of our meals were remarkable, and some of the locations were selected by the trip’s chaperons. I’ll always remember the one restaurant that stood out above all others. One of the group members stumbled upon it by chance one night, and he ran back to us raving. We had to go there, he said. So the next night a few of us gathered in anticipation of a killer meal. Despite the fact that two or three of us had already been to Ciacco, they could really only identify the direction on one major street they walked down to get there. Thus, with increasingly empty stomachs, we wandered for far too long, but eventually found our heaven. Ciacco was pricey, but the food was beyond killer. It exceeded all our expectations. I ordered some divine gnocchi followed by the duck. The gnocchi was smothered in “real” balsamic vinegar of nearby Modena, which boasts a much more syrupy consistency and incomparable flavor than the stuff in the U.S. It was topped off, again, with an authentic product of Emiglia-Romagna, parmiggiano reggiano cheese. The duck was equally delicious. I couldn’t ask for a better meal.

We frequented Ciacco for dinner at least twice more, taking less time to find it in each instance. With Pin Drop, none of the hassle getting in the way of achieving gastronomic nirvana would have existed. Somehow, during a trip back to Bologna last January, I had no trouble finding the restaurant without the help of any electronics. Good memory, I guess, but most of the time that won’t happen. Now, for anyone with an iPhone, the simple drop of a pin on the location does the trick. Sadly, the visit back to my old stomping grounds lacked the options of both the gnocchi and the duck, but Ciacco will always hold a special place in my heart.

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