In the tourism app/website space there are numerous services to assist with travel
bookings, hotel bookings, translation, dining, transactions, popular opinion ,etc. but nothing that
gives tourists hyperlocal information about the attractions they visit.
Field Trip an app by Niantic attempts this and gives general description of places to visit closeby
but fails at giving information about the various points of interest at the tourist attraction. Field
trip also relies heavily on internet connectivity. There are many community driven travel blogs
and websites like TripAdvisor, Tourism Review and Tourism sites of local authorities which give
a good idea about the places to visit along with people’s experiences, but these again require
the user to look for information and often give mixed reviews about everything.
A lot of research has gone into the advent of the smartphone revolutionizing the tourism industry
and it has succeeded the commercial domain of tourism but has been limited in making the
tourist more informed about the places they visit.
The Tour Companion App accomplishes what existing apps have not that is, providing
hyperlocal information about the points of interest at the tourist spot without any user
intervention, another important feature is that the app does not rely on internet connectivity
which is not always reliable at all tourist spots. The limitation of this app is the lack of availability
of data which must be collected manually, this is a cumbersome and time consuming process. If
this process of data collection is simplified the Tour Companion App along with the tour
companion web portal can truly enhance the overall experience of tourism.
2. Data collection
The most vital part of the application is the database which has all the gps location of the
animals in the zoo with the description.So the first step was to collect data. For this the Nehru
Zoological park was visited multiple times. During these visits the data collection methodology
was finalized, this methodology is such that the data can be collected by simply visiting the spot
as a regular visitor with basic equipment that all tourists carry.
For the zoo park it was observed that GPS accuracy was around 1-3m for some animals and
10m for some animals due to bad connectivity. Description boards were damaged or faded and
not present at all for some animals, the number of languages these descriptions were present in
was also limited and for obvious reasons. These are the problems that one might encounter
while visiting any tourist destination around the world.For a short video of the point of interest,
animals housed at the zoo in this case it was noticed that a professional camera might be
required for a good quality video. This will be the case at any tourist spot, some points of
interests can be observed only from a distance. Videos for these points of interest can easily be
found from online resources without violating any copyright laws.This was done for dangerous