The age of mobility has been embraced by all, including travelers, who have abandoned multi-fold route maps and heavy guide books to adopt smartphones with travel applications to roam about like a local. ThinkPalm, keeping pace with this trend, developed a comprehensive travel application to help tourists meander along the roads of Tokyo without a hitch! The tourist application, available in five languages, helps visitors spot important locales and guides them with maps along paths with the least traffic congestion. Travelling is made an enjoyable experience for its users at the click of a button, without having to expend internet!
The solution was aimed at addressing a critical pain point of significant internet data being utilized while browsing key tourist attractions and their locations. The customer demanded an Android/iOS application capable of saving details within the application to minimize the usage of data communication. The travel app was expected to integrate the GPS functions of the terminal and support five languages namely, Japanese, English, Chinese simplified, Chinese traditional and Korean. Modularity, scalability and smartphone/tablet compatibility were the prerequisites in the design front.
From a technological standpoint, majority of the API features are not available in Android version 2.3. Hence, for optimal performance, travelers are required to use versions 4.0 and higher. Also, the language and font supports for the five languages are dependent on the device specifications.
COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL APPLICATION
All the screens of the application were implemented using HTML5.0, jQuery and CSS. On the initial launch of the app, the system creates a database with the required tables and information regarding the top tourist destinations in the location will be inserted into the database. The system will then fetch common information labels (such as home, main area and more) from the database tables and store it in a local storage for future use. The executables are created by wrapping the HTML page and contents using Phonegap. When a user searches for specific data within the application, the system will fetch the information to be displayed from the local storage while the screen loads and populate the data based on the selected language. Critical tour details such as website link of the tourist spot, contact number, open hours, ticket charges, legend information and more are made accessible in one view with the app.
With “Events Recommended” feature, users can access Tokyo Tour Guide Service, Sightseeing Course in Tokyo, information on various events happening across the city and more! The app also provides “Useful Information” such as general information for tourists, useful numbers, places of free Wi-Fi service availability, instructions to enhance the safety of tourists when in trouble and the like. To make sure users do not miss important sites adjacent to their current locations, we have offered the “Spot Nearby” feature in the application.
The tourist application permits the user to search for a tourist locale using both, keywords and location. “Search by Keyword” feature allows users to input key information that initiates the system to look for the specific data in all the location parameters (such as title, description and more). The user has the option to search using multiple keywords at a time, using “+” operator and space key. “Search by location” enables users to search for a location within a selected radius from the current location. The system will invoke the GPS service to fetch the latitude and longitude of the current location and deliver the exact location. The solution also supports adding descriptions to favourite locations and bookmarking them for future reference. Users can drag, sort, add, edit and delete favorite locations from the bookmarked list.
Maps supported by the application are Location and Transportation maps. When a user navigates to a particular location via location map, focus will be on the latitude and longitude of the selected location in Tokyo. The Transportation map helps users access information regarding timings and ticket fares of bus, metro and rail services from the selected location. Traffic information makes it possible for tourists to reach their favourite locales on time, via the least busy roads.
The cutting edge application differentiates itself from other travel apps by storing data locally and thus comes handy to tourists who like to keep data usage minimal while on the move. The travel app’s ability to support five different languages makes it comprehensible by a significant number of travelers across the globe. Specific information on traffic bottlenecks and accuracy of the locations displayed make the app a favourite among travelers!
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