A web-based portal to collect and reuse free points-of-interest data

‘US Department of Labor identified geoinformationtechnology as one of the three most important emerging and evolving fields, along with nanotechnology and biotechnology (in “mapping opportunities”, Nature Magazine Vol. 427 (22.01.2004)). 80% of all data is related to a geographic location and one who can answer a “Where is …?”-question has a clear advantage. Today navigation tools and web-based applications that provide routing services or geolocating services based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) are well known in public. A crucial data source for these services is Points of Interest (POI) data, geolocated through their postal address. However, often a person searches for a location that is not related to a particular postal address. These fuzzy location-queries often emerge out of their topic; for example alpine regions or national parks provide a lot of interesting locations for visitors which are not related to a postal address. There are also many cultural or historical locations, such as ruins or archeological excavations that lack a postal address. These POI are of particular importance in application domains of public security, for example police, (alpine) rescue, firefighters, or tourism marketing.

To facilitate an easy collection and re-use of POI, a web-based portal is planned. Together with the pupils a spatial data model will be designed. Based on this model a web-based portal will be implemented using Open Source software. POI, which are of particular interest for young people, will be collected by the pupils. Afterwards they will design and implement two application-prototypes that use the collected POI as data source. The re-use of geographic data due to standardized interfaces will be demonstrated. Pupils and teachers will present this concept in ‘their’ community and act as ambassadors to multiply and spread the idea of volunteered geography.

Text: DI (FH) Stefanie Andrae

This project has been completed.