Ptolemy started as a fun side project to help us discover new places and learn about the hidden values of our region. We were tired of aimless searches and found travel guides too selective, maps too general, and blogs too “markety”. Our idea soon developed into a tool, so we decided to make it available to everyone.
Our aim is to bring together exploration, tourism and diversity. We are seeking to partner up with people that share our values and accelerate our progress.
Features (coming soon!)
We are Nick Lempesis and Simone Vaccari, a cartographer and a tourism specialist mixing our passion for maps and history. We are motivated to alleviate the detrimental effects of mass tourism and seek heritage preservation through learning, awareness and traveler engagement.
If you are interested in our project, we would love to hear what you think, so don't hesitate to send us an email or sign up for updates.
Frequently asked questions
Who is Ptolemy?
Claudius Ptolemaeus (c. 100 — 170 CE) was a mathematician, astronomer and early cartographer, whose astronomical treatise, mapping handbook and geographical gazetteer remained massively influential throughout Antiquity and the Middle Ages. He formulated the geocentric planetary system also known as “Ptolemaic”, later to be superseded by Copernicus.
What is the aim of your platform?
We decided to propose an alternative to mass tourism with heritage at the core. Our aim is to motivate curiosity and discovery before, during and after your trip. Our map is designed to explore and discover new places. Our tours allow you to experience a destination (from home or on-site) through a new lens that moves away from monotonous “top 10 things to do” and helps you learn about a specific subject and the backstory of places.
Why do you do this?
We believe this approach creates a stronger bond between visitor and destination and promotes deeper values. It allows us to appreciate the place, and consequently have more respect for our surroundings. In doing so, we aim to promote cultural sustainability, focused on history, art and culture.
Is Ptolemy a website or an application?
Ptolemy is a PWA (Progressive Web Application), meaning that we are a website meant for both mobile and desktop. You can download our app here by taping on “Install” on your Android browser. If you're on iOS Safari this option is in the “Share” menu.
What does your map do?
Use our map to check what that little church is, discover hidden ruins in the middle of the forest, or explore prominent places in the city centre! In the future, we want to collect open cultural data from around the web and place it at your fingertips. You will be able to filter places and discover how they relate to each other.
Can I publish my content on Ptolemy?
Yes! Whether you are an individual or a business with knowledge of local heritage, you can contact us by e-mail to explain your idea. We will get back to you with the next steps. See Participate for more information.
What kind of content are you looking for?
Our content is divided into Stories and Tours. Stories are short articles addressing the backstory of a single place or event that took place at a specific location. Our tours, on the other hand, unite several stories under a central theme, connecting related points of interest to create a storytelling experience with a unique twist. You can freely pick the artistic, cultural or historical theme of the tour, and it is important to keep the thread solid throughout.
Are there content guidelines?
Yes. We will soon publish our simple guidelines here. You can write in English, Italian, German or Greek.
What languages is Ptolemy available in?
Currently we translate all our content to English, but we plan to support more languages in the future.
Do I have to pay to publish content?
No! We want to create unique experiences for our readers, and we are happy to host new unique content!
Do you collaborate with businesses?
Yes. This is an opportunity for local travel agencies, councils, DMOs and other tourism stakeholders to promote their service in alternative digital tourism. We are flexible and happy to talk about your needs.
How can I support Ptolemy?
We welcome your feedback on our project! We are in constant search of support as well as funding. If you like Ptolemy and want to take part, feel free to contact us to set up a meeting.