Designed to provide jet-setters with independently produced video content about international destinations, GeoBeats is a new travel site with professional-quality movies about subjects from the Finnish delicacy lamprey to social etiquette in Hong Kong. All the videos on the site are hosted and filmed by relative unknowns, but the movies are surprisingly well produced. Split up by topic, the videos attempt to cover basics like public transportation, seasonal festivals, and local culture. The site has launched with only a dozen countries, not as many as competitor TurnHere (see our coverage here). However, there are already more than 100 movies available for viewing.
One thing that might hold GeoBeats from getting as big as TurnHere is submission. Hosts and filmmakers are brought together by GeoBeats to produce the content, so it's unclear whether they'll take unsolicited content. At the same time, keeping it exclusive obviously has insured quality.
Travel videos are a great way to get a feel for a destination before visiting it yourself. Likewise, professionally produced videos carry a cost and can become outdated quickly. GeoBeats brings the strengths of great information together with the speed of Internet distribution. However, the service isn't without its weaknesses. The site is in dire need of community features like comments and forums to bring it together. In the meantime, GeoBeats has the makings of a great travel network.