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Location-based Wiki Service for Web and API

The Scope

To develop a localization application for iPhone.

The Solution

We wanted to give user maximum up-to-date information about location he is in right now and enable him to search through this information, sort it, and so on. The data we wanted to provide are coordinates and descriptions of local attractions and landmarks, businesses and retail outlets, dining and leisure facilities, health and security information, road service information, as well as any other information that may be of use for leisure or business traveler, as well as for local people.

There is no ready-to-use universal database of worldwide attractions containing exact coordinates and extensive descriptions. We had to use public resource to create such database ourself. Wikipedia is a quickly developing public encyclopedia with loads of information about almost everything. It is maintaining and upgraded by regular users on a daily basis. The feature most attractive to us is presence of detailed information on location’s attractions along with precise global coordinates. We decided to use this information for our WikiMate application.

Technologies

iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Symbian, GPS, J2EE, XML

The Challenge

Unfortunately, Wikipedia does not store longitude and latitude data in uniform well-defined format. In order to populate our database, we had to implement an intuitive parser sorting through heterogeneous positioning data.

The Outcome

For testing and evaluation purposes we provide a web-interface (web-emulator), where user’s position is determined and set from his IP. We are considering possibility to release our database, which is, in essence, a normalized location-based Wiki, as a free product. Our company already provides a convenient webservices API for developers.

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