Creation of personalized tourist routes for android devices
This application provides the user with a personalized tourist route over a defined town or city, devised according to certain preferences expressed by himself. The user will define the time of beginning and ending of the route along with which types of activities/sites he would enjoy the most (monuments, museums, restaurants, parks...). These are selected in an intuitive way, defining an overall degree of preferences. The application will present the user a personalized route that will comply with the user's time restrictions and visiting interests. To do this, it will use public information about the town to visit obtained from a constantly updated database, which will be completed with information obtained from the device from where the request is sent (with Andriod O.S.).
Available in the market for mobile devices are many applications that provide the user with two main different services (a) to calculate the fastest route to reach a certain determined destination (as GPS devices do) (b) to display a list of places of interest (sometimes located in the vicinty of the requesting device) that can be found in a certain town (similar to a tourist guide).
However we are not aware of any application that can recommend a tourist route, that usually includes several intermediate destination points, which facilitates the way to reach each of them and that includes only interesting locations for the user. The proposed application offers several advantages to the final user: he can delegate into the application the decision of which could be the most interesting points to visit given a certain amount of time (leaving out of the route points that do not match his/her interests), in which order should be visited or how which is the best route to reach each of them.
The application is completed with characteristics that make it useful in the moment of completing the route: indicatin in which point of the map is the user located at each moment, storing the user preferences for their use when the user requests new routes, or showing comments or advice from previous visitors to the same spot the user is headed to. All this information can be accessed by a great variety of mobile devices, depending on the preferences of the user.
The application is designed using a client-server architecture. The client consists on an application for the Android O.S. (v.4.0 or higher), used in a great variety of mobile devices. This application is used by the user both to request a new route to the system and to visualize the results proposed by the system and all the additional information. The server includes a web service written in the Java language (one of the most extended and portable programming languages) that accesses a D.B. managed using the PostgreSQL manager. This D.B. processes and stores geo-localized data obtained form the OpenStreetMap open source project. This part is in charge of listening for users' requests, calculating the requested route and sending it back to the corresponding device. To do this, it uses route optimization algorithms devised specifically for this purpose.
The application is proposed as a valuable addition to the advice or information that could be given by a tourist office employee on a given town, recommending certain points of interest and advising a route between them and giving a general overview of the town to visit. All this having the advantages of knowing in advnace which are the user's interests and beaing able to consult or modify the request at any moment (before, during or after the visit).The system inteds to facilitate a pleasing visit to any town:
- By means of a selection of the user's preferences, the system can offer routes including only points of interest that can
appeal each user individually. This system is flexible enough to support a "degree of preference" form 0 to 100 for each of the main location categories (culture, leisure, gastronomy, nature) or to filter certain types of points belonging to each of the main categories (i.e. including "restaurants", but no "terraces" in the "gastronomy" grouping).- By using the location classification obtained from the OpenStreetMap data and the valuation that can be introduced by users that have visited each location previously (stored in the D.B.), the system can propose the current user a route that includes the most interesting locations for him/her and that can be visited in the alotted time. That is, the system is able to maximize the interest of the visit for the user without exceeding the alloted time for the route.
- The automated calculation of a route lets the user stop worrying about many of the details related to the planning of a tourist visit: look for maps or travel guides of the city, read them, plan a determined route, carry the map or guide along when completing the visit... In this case the route is offered to the user at the precise moment he/she needs it, using as a base the information of the time and location at the time of the request.
- The sytem would work at any town or city of the world, as long as there is data available about it included in the OpenStreetMap project (which is quite complete for most touristic cities).
As the main objective of the system is to increase the satisfaction of a tourist visiting a determined town or city, one of the main stakeholder of the sytem would be the town or city council of a locality interested in promoting its tourist appeal.As explained before, the system is prepared to function with as much locations are needed, as long as they have their data maped in the OpenStreetMaps project. It is also adaptable to calculate Langer routes, that can span along several locations. As two of the main categories of locations of the system are "gastronomy" and "leisure" and information about each location is stored in the D.B.; it is an interesting possibility that the owners of each of the establishments publicise them to their potential clients by means of the application. That way, conditioned to the client requesting for some locations included in the same category, the application can include a certain business/restaurant/bar in the routes of the users with a higher probability depending on the quote the owner of the business is subscribed to. This type of advertising has the advantage of being quite effective and at the same time very unobtrusive, as the promotions are showed to the client only when he/she demands precisely that service /activity.
The software is registered at the Burgos Local Office of the Spanish Central Intelectual Property Registry (application BU-143-13).
Applied Computational Intelligence
Jose Manuel López López
+34 947 25 8895