Open Government & Geolocation: Building a Mobile, Location-Based Search for


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Presented April 2, 2011 at the Sex::Tech 2011 Conference on youth, technology and sexual health, in San Francisco.

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  • We are here.
  • Intro One of the projects I work on is the web site.
  • From Morgan Stanley Around 2013, mobile users will surpass desktop internet users (mobile includes email and apps) ***IF YOU ARE NOT DOING SOMETHING WITH MOBILE NOW, YOU’LL NEED TO BE
  • Find out where you are Find you what’s near you Let other people know you’re here
  • SMS = lowest common denominator Most phones sold today have a browser Platform specific = drawback
  • SMS = lowest common denominator Most phones sold today have a browser Platform specific = drawback
  • Doesn’t include content +marketing +promotion
  • Touch
  • New functionality –geolocation request Either/or – entering zip
  • (permission)
  • As part of that project, we created a location based search tool to help people living with HIV/AIDS or their caretakers to find service providers near them. Been a trip Might have something useful to share
  • So, first, let’s look at the problem we wanted to solve. No central repository for them -would have to visit 5 separate websites -websites don’t feature map view
  • Some are many layers deep in the agency’s hierarchy Finding agency websites is hard Not recognizable URLs
  • Here is an example URL for the CDC HIV Testing data feed API. It takes a ZIP Code and a distance in miles, and returns… Representation of interface
  • The crucial bit that makes this GeoRSS is each <entry> element brings along a latitude and longitude with it. RSS Feed Title Author ID Longitude/latitude
  • So they can be plopped on the map like so. The Google Maps API actually offers a GeoRSS parser, but I found it rather finicky so ended up rolling my own. [anecdote] -issues while implementing -wrote our initial how-to on GeoRSS -made point data, the latitude and longitude, optional. -Bad idea. We were afraid making it mandatory would be a barrier to entry for some agencies We thought it would be simple enough to geocode the addresses on our end. Most of agencies already had geocoded data, or were pretty quick to do so, even though we’d made it optional. one data provider called our bluff Delays between us trying to dynamically geocode and giving up and them adding lat and long on their end. We are not maintaining data ourselves – it’s the most recent Not just enough to make this something at, but we’re not the only resource out there Someone at risk may not know but has widget access
  • Not only did we want to give people one place to search, we wanted to make that tool available anywhere. For people who haven’t heard of = widget
  • This is a pure JavaScript widget, which can be placed in a page with a single line of HTML.
  • A vertical version,
  • We now are using Omniture through an arrangement with CDC in order to get metrics on the widget. This is more or less out of convenience, it wouldn’t be my preference, also it takes major bank. Also, we’re using Google Analytics on itself.
  • Widget – how many people loaded a page with the widget National HIV Testing Day we created a special look for the locator widgets Asked partners to place the widget on their web sites. loaded ~1.6 million times Meaningless Doesn’t even mean eyeballs (below the fold)
  • In a year…as of 3/6/11 1600-2000 searches/month of those 1.6 million loads 2000 real searches. Measured by interactions on the widget and GA on
  • Embedded on 70 different websites many of those including the widget on several, or all, pages.
  • … yet you can’t find my clinic Feedback mechanism
  • We want to be responsive We can reach out to owners of data to edit info
  • Atomic release easy rollback, scripts “ Perfection is the enemy of good
  • Open Government & Geolocation: Building a Mobile, Location-Based Search for

    1. 1. Sex::Tech 2011 San Francisco, CA Mindy Nichamin New Media Coordinator Jennie Anderson Communications Director John Snow, Inc. (JSI) Open Government & Geolocation: Building a Mobile, Location-Based Search for
    2. 2. <ul><li>Mobile </li></ul><ul><li>HIV/AIDS Prevention & Service Provider Locator </li></ul><ul><li>Online widget </li></ul><ul><li>Analytics </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>Our Roadmap Today
    3. 4. Mobile
    4. 6. I’m bored I’m local I’m social I’m microtasking From Tapworthy by Josh Clark
    5. 7. <ul><li>I’m local. Where am I? What’s here? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Check-ins </li></ul><ul><li>Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Geolocation </li></ul><ul><li>Combo of web and apps </li></ul>
    6. 8. <ul><li>SMS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lowest common denominator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Universal adoption </li></ul></ul>Tiers of Adoption
    7. 9. <ul><li>Mobile Web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nearly universal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Targeted experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Platform specific (Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry, etc.) </li></ul></ul>Tiers of Adoption
    8. 10. What to Build?
    9. 11. Why an App? <ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilize device-specific features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better overall user experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revenue generation </li></ul></ul>
    10. 12. <ul><ul><li>Must develop for multiple platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost – avg. $30,000 to build per platform </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cons </li></ul>
    11. 13. Why a mobile website? <ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s the web - REACH </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost is generally less than app development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lacks functionality/feel of app </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires network or wifi connectivity </li></ul></ul>
    12. 14. Return on Investment <ul><li>Assuming the same cost to develop * </li></ul><ul><li>Source - Mashable - Aaron Maxwell </li></ul>*= doesn’t include content development, marketing, maintenance, etc.
    13. 15.
    14. 16.
    15. 21.
    16. 22.
    17. 23.
    18. 24.
    19. 25.
    20. 26.
    21. 27. The Problem Photo credit:
    22. 29. or
    23. 30. hivTestLocatorFeed/ feed.aspx? zip= 37206 & radius= 5
    24. 31. <ul><li><?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot; encoding=&quot;utf-8&quot;?> </li></ul><ul><li><feed xmlns=&quot;; xmlns:georss=&quot;;> </li></ul><ul><li><title>Search Results from CDC - Locate HIV/AIDS Testing Sites</title> </li></ul><ul><li><link href=&quot;;radius=5&quot; rel=&quot;self&quot; /> </li></ul><ul><li><link href=&quot;; rel=&quot;alternate&quot; /> </li></ul><ul><li><author> </li></ul><ul><li><name>CDC NPIN</name> </li></ul><ul><li></author> </li></ul><ul><li><id>,2009-09-15:/npinwebservices/NPINDataWebservices</id> </li></ul><ul><li><updated>2009-09-15T00:00:00-05:00</updated> </li></ul><ul><li><entry> </li></ul><ul><li><title>Cayce Family Health Center</title> </li></ul><ul><li><link href=&quot;; /> </li></ul><ul><li><id>,2000-03-20:/search/OrgResult.cfm?OrgNbr=21952</id> </li></ul><ul><li><summary type=&quot;xhtml&quot;> </li></ul><ul><li><div xmlns=&quot;;> </li></ul><ul><li><div class=&quot;vcard&quot;> </li></ul><ul><li><div class=&quot;fn org&quot;>Cayce Family Health Center</div> </li></ul><ul><li><div class=&quot;adr&quot;> </li></ul><ul><li><div class=&quot;street-address&quot;>617 S 8th St</div> </li></ul><ul><li><span class=&quot;locality&quot;>Nashville</span>, <span class=&quot;region&quot;>TN</span>, <span class=&quot;postal-code&quot;>37206</span></div> </li></ul><ul><li><div class=&quot;tel&quot;>615-226-1695</div> </li></ul><ul><li></div> </li></ul><ul><li> </div> </li></ul><ul><li></summary> </li></ul><ul><li><georss:point>36.168533 -86.755339</georss:point> </li></ul><ul><li><updated>2010-10-14T18:17:31.0000000-04:00</updated> </li></ul><ul><li></entry> </li></ul><ul><li></feed> </li></ul>
    25. 33. Search Decentralization: Web to Widget  ANYWHERE
    26. 34. Search Select Services Share or Embed Provide Feedback
    27. 35.
    28. 37.
    29. 38. Analytics
    30. 40. ~3.5 million loads <ul><li>(meaningless) </li></ul>
    31. 41. 16,000 actual searches
    32. 42. Widget on >100 websites
    33. 43. Feedback
    34. 44. RE: Thanks for being irrelevant...
    35. 45. as a Centralized Resource <ul><li>Through the locator, we’re able to reach each owner of data to correct and update </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HUD, CDC, SAMHSA, HRSA, OPA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsive government </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Positive response </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog post about the experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build trust for project </li></ul></ul>
    36. 46. Future Plans <ul><li>Locator API </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow others to use data freely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile applications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feedback within map </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stakeholders, site owners, clinics can respond directly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corrections to erroneous data becomes more automated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public/Private Partnerships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work with organizations that will use and promote Locator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customization of locator to specific campaigns </li></ul></ul>
    37. 47. QR Codes Locator Mobile Site
    38. 48. One last tip… <ul><li>Build </li></ul><ul><li>Iterate </li></ul>?
    39. 49. <ul><li>Further Reading </li></ul>Luke Wroblewski Twitter: @lukew Josh Clark Twitter: @globalmoxie Pew Internet & American Life Project Twitter: @Pew_Internet
    40. 50. Technical Questions? <ul><li>Lance Roggendorff [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Jeremy Vanderlan [email_address] </li></ul>
    41. 51. Stay Connected! Mindy: [email_address] Jennie: [email_address]