Mobile applications for tourism

Yesterday I went to the event “Mobiele toepassingen voor toerisme” (Mobile applications for tourism) in Gent.
Two of the presentations were really interesting: RouteYou and ART.

RouteYou is a Web 2.0 Google Maps mashup site where anyone can create and share routes for hiking or cycling or whatever. I registered and tried creating the walk from the station to the event location.
It was quite easy after a little trial and error. But I couldn’t find a way to add pictures to my POI’s which was quite annoying. (update: in a few weeks it will be possible to add pictures)

The creators of RouteYou are well aware of all the Web 2.0 principles, but I think they should work more on the easy of use of their site. It’s not always obvious enough where to find some functionality or how to do things like publishing a route for instance or what to choose as type of POI (some words are apparently automatically recognized and given an appropriate icon, but there is no list to choose from. It’s probably on purpose and not bad in itself, but it’s not clear).
Anyway I think RouteYou has a lot of potential if they keep working on improving the user experience.

ART (Accessible Relationship Technology) from RVO-Society is a location based PDA application that uses the infrared port to point to an object of interest (for instance on an exhibition) and get information. The nice thing is that you decide when you ask for info and you can get additional info sent by email afterwards if you want. The technology looks quite easy to implement and deploy as well.
They use it at IMEC in Leuven for visitors, so I might want to go and try it out.


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