MyTravel: a geo-referenced social-oriented Web 2.0 application Gabriele Cestra, Gianluca Liguori, Eliseo Clementini
Agenda Introduction Background and relatedworks MyTravel: Project guidelines and requirements The developmentprocess The prototype Conclusions and furtherworks
Introduction I During the last few years the growth of spatial data availability has provided a strong stimulus to the development of geo-referenced applications
Introduction II At the same time, the rise of “social-oriented” applications introduced a strong innovation in the Information Technology (IT) field. The spread on a global scale of Web 2.0 social applications and the amazing growth of social network communities, such as Facebook or Twitter, have convinced the mass of users to become active feeders of information.
Background and relatedworks The convergence between the web 2.0 paradigm, along with the social networking phenomenon, and GISs has set a new trend in the IT field, leading to so-called Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). VGI is the harnessing of tools to create, assemble, and disseminate geographic data provided voluntarily by individuals There are many applications that use geo-referenced data in various ways in order to achieve different goals. Flickr Wikipedia Google Latitude Foursquare …
MyTravel The aim of the work described here is the definition of a prototypal architecture to develop web 2.0 applications with a strong spatio-temporal component Wedecided to develop an experimentalapplication to validate the architecture, calledMyTravel There are two important differences between MyTravel and the applications just cited: MyTravel allows us to acquire not only geo-referenced points, but also trajectories, making possible to store routes together with points of interests (POIs) The presence of the time or temporal component. In MyTravel the temporal dimension is linked both to punctual elements like POIs and journeys/trajectories
MyTravel: Development Guidelines A social-oriented application grows in importance only if the users are willing to share their information The application has a strong appeal on the users only if it is able to provide relevant information to them: user participation is a condicio sine qua non for the application success. We decided to propose the users to share their journeys, both those they have already done and those they would like to do: MyTravel allows to share a journey experience through photos, comments about visited places and mainly through a geographic map that shows places and point of interest reached during the journey Another important feature of MyTravel is the opportunity to describe and share the journey experience in real time through a smartphone The application can be defined as a geo-social network, where the geo-referenced component plays an important role.
MyTravel: FunctionalRequirements Users can build a journey simply registering a set of positions. The user should be able to share his information quickly and easily MyTravel must provide two ways to insert and manage the journeys: we have called these modalities atHome and onRoad, respectively. The application has to register a timestamp for every geo-referenced information, in order to allow the manipulation of both the spatial and temporal dimensions. MyTravel should allows the users to know the current or past position of their friends, and to know their future position in the context of planned journeys, in order to organize their journeys in accordance to this information.
Technology and Tools We adopted the Java programming language and Oracle JEE environment in order to develop MyTravel as a Rich Internet Application (RIA) To speed up the design and development process we decided to use a methodology and a framework, called Bluedeep Framework, that allow us to realize Ajax-enabled, full featured applications writing only Java code.
The BluedeepFramework Based on an extended Model-View-Controller architecture Provides elements and services to manage the main parts of an application, such as graphical interface management, use case lifecycle management and domain objects persistence Offers a set of tools and services to manipulate spatial data
We used PostgreSQL 8.4, along with the PostGIS spatial extensions
The communication between the framework and the database has been implemented using the ORM open-source library Hibernateand its optional model devoted to the spatial data manipulation: Hibernate Spatial
Google Maps platform has been used for geographic data visualization and tracking features
Handheld Devices Weneededdevices with GPS features and able to connecto to the internet Weemployedtwodevices: PocketPC Phone working with GpsGate and Netfront browser Android Phone with native Android SDK implementation
Bluedeep Framework: the GeoPack GeoPackis a module of the Bluedeep Framework thatallows the manipulation of spatio-temporal data Ituses Java Topology Suite (JTS) elements and operators in order to providecompatibility and scalability
The design and development activities carried out during the project described in this work have led to the implementation of a working prototype that has been tested by a restricted community of users
The next step in the research will be the publication of the application on the internet, in order to verify its appeal to the internauts and its robustness and scalability under heavy load
Another important task that we will carry on is the integration of other mobile device technologies, like iOS and Blackberry, in order to enlarge the candidate user base
All these activities will be executed in parallel with the development of new features, that will involve the enrichment of the domain model and the implementation of new operators that can manipulate such a model