If you're a weary, hungry traveler, or just trying to find a place to eat out at the end of a frantic week of family transportation management and work deadlines, finding a place to eat can be angst-laced. With kids (or picky grownups) in tow, the default dining move is to head for something safe rather than counting on the opinion of whatever guidebook, online review site or word of mouth you've got. If only you could see the food first, and show it to the family—you might be willing to give one of those other places a shot.
That's part of the allure of a new social network for diners called Foodspotting. The service uses all those people out there with mobile phone cameras as a way to capture photographic evidence of meals—or any other food you can buy and eat out—served at restaurants, snack bars, and even grocery stores all over the world. Those photos can be searched by location, food type, and by rating from the service's website or from a free app for the iPhone.
Of course, the "social" part of Foodspotting is participating yourself. The service integrates with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare so you can share your own digital snapshots of food discoveries, whether it be the entree you ordered at an upscale restaurant or a black-and-white cookie in a bakery display.