Semantics and Travel


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The majority of today's business and leisure travel is booked online. The post-booking experience typically leaves travelers with the predicament of gathering together important trip data (flight numbers, hotel address, rental car confirmation number, frequent travel program identification, check-in time, etc.) that is dispersed throughout several booking confirmation emails. Join Andy Denmark, VP of Engineering at TripIt and explore how semantic technology has transformed this unstructured data into a structured travel itinerary and revolutionized the post-booking travel experience. Additional discussion will examine semantic technology and the future of travel, with a focus on the implications for individual travelers and corporate travel programs.

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Semantics and Travel

  1. 1. Semantics and Travel 2010 Semantic Technology Conference June 23, 2010 San Francisco Andy Denmark VP Engineering & Co-Founder, TripIt
  2. 2. The Vision I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A 'Semantic Web' , which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy, and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The 'intelligent agents' people have touted for ages will finally materialize. – Tim Berners-Lee 1999
  3. 3. The reality? photo by Joi Ito, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Doctorow ends his essay with an observation that gives us all hope... A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be a utopia . It's also a pipe-dream , founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris and hysterically inflated market opportunities. – Cory Doctorow 2001 Metacrap: Putting the torch to seven straw-men of the meta-utopia
  4. 4. Realizing the Vision … here's what TripIt is doing for the travel ... Photo by Vicky TGAW, Creative Commons Attribution If obtaining accurate meta-data is so hard, what can we do?
  5. 5. What is a Semantic App?
  6. 6. “… of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers…” … that sounds a lot like Page Rank turns out to be a great way of extracting meaning...
  7. 7. “ ... the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy, and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. ” … that sounds a lot like Facebook and its social APIs allow the “machine” to learn about your preferences...
  8. 8. Semantic Applications in Travel
  9. 9. Meet TripIt Photo by thegarlands, Creative Commons Attribution
  10. 10. Travel Data is Huge & Unstructured <ul><li>Billions of travel transactions per
  11. 11. year
  12. 12. Millions of travel products, flights,
  13. 13. hotels, etc...
  14. 14. Data locked in mainframe
  15. 15. reservation systems from the
  16. 16. 1960s
  17. 17. Shared via thousands of
  18. 18. travel/supplier websites/emails
  19. 19. Consumed by millions of travel
  20. 20. agents and travelers </li></ul>Photo by Save vs Death, Creative Commons Attribution
  21. 21. Before TripIt... <ul><li>Structured? - No
  22. 22. Context? - No
  23. 23. Shareable? - No
  24. 24. Linkable? - No
  25. 25. Social? - No </li></ul>
  26. 26. After TripIt... <ul><li>Structured? - Yes
  27. 27. Context? - Yes
  28. 28. Shareable? - Yes
  29. 29. Linkable? - Yes
  30. 30. Social? - Yes </li></ul>
  31. 31. TripIt Today 1. Support for more than 1,000 booking sites <ul><li>Auto flight alerts, delays, price monitoring...
  32. 32. Access via online, mobile, calendar feeds...
  33. 33. Auto add weather, maps, directions, seat advice... </li></ul>3. Integration with LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo... 2. Open API with 500+ developer partners Powering a large number of features:
  34. 34. A small piece of the Semantic Web Information flows freely across the web... and much more to come...
  35. 35. How will this change travel? <ul><li>Auto flight price monitoring
  36. 36. Auto reschedule car/hotel services based on
  37. 37. flight changes
  38. 38. Auto airport mobile check-in
  39. 39. Collaboratively filtered travel tips from your
  40. 40. social graph/company
  41. 41. Intelligent trip planner based on an
  42. 42. understanding of your travel preferences
  43. 43. and much more... </li></ul>The itinerary becomes an active participant in your trip... Your itinerary is the “intelligent agent”
  44. 44. How can you get involved? Build apps!
  45. 45. Help to get you started <ul><li>Developer site:
  46. 46. API Support:
  47. 47. TripIt Blog:
  48. 48. Twitter: </li></ul>Build apps that leverage travel data, here are some resources...