Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Ratings of Point of interests

It all started when a hotel booking site approached us if we were interested in adding hotel content. A lot of sites try to add commercial content to world66 and our policy is that if the content adds value for travelers we can accept it. A hotel with a good description and a link to a page where you can book that hotel is good content, we think. The same goes for restaurants etc.

Through this hotel booking site we could add hotels with descriptions and we would get coordinates of the hotels so we could put them on our maps - a feature we are still working on. There would be links to the booking site and we could get a finders fee if someone used the links to book the rooms. We explained the idea of open content and said that their stuff would be publishes with a creative commons license. They said that that was okay.

There were some other issues we needed to address:
  • We explained we would never put their hotels in a better position than other hotels that were added by travelers
  • The descriptions would be editable; travelers would be able to write about bad experiences as well as good ones.
  • In some destinations we had so many hotels that we needed something else. A new mechanism to decide which hotels would be shown first.

To fix this last point we have added a rating mechanism. Every point of interest in the database can have between one (really bad) and five (top notch) stars. Travelers give these stars and we show an average, but you are only allowed to vote once for one item. Well, I guess you know the drill.

Well, the good thing is, it works. Check it out... Just go to any destination, look up a museum you know, or a bar, or a restaurant and give it a few stars.

And the maps? Well, we are still working on those. Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Travel guides for the iPod

Just read about Slice's Pizza guide for the iPod, the piPod. Great concept, funny name. Might be interesting option to look at for the world66 take away travel guides as well.

With the help of a PhP script provided by the people at Ambience, I have made a Amersfoort travel guide for the iPod. It's just a test to see if it works. Why Amersfoort you will ask- because I live there and it's a pretty nice town in the centre of the Netherlands. It's the only place I know where the traffic lights do not only show guys crossing the street but also proud women!

Download either the ZIP and UnZip it. Plug your iPod into your computer. When it shows up on screen, locate the "Notes" folder within it. Simply drag the piPod folder into the Notes folder. Easy as pie!.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Also free: RepliGo guides

Our friend Antti Vilpponen has created RepliGo versions of our PDF guides. He writes:
However, I thought that since many smart phones (including mine) do not read PDFs as such - I converted the files to RepliGo -format, which is a very effective format for smart phones at least. (You can get your free reader from here)
We think this is excellent, so we have added his RepliGo guides to the Take Away section of World66. Have fun with them!