The goal of this project is to introduce a different
interface and scope to "locator" Web sites with the idea that
it will enhance the usability of such sites. "Locator" web sites,
whether they be for ATM's, hotels, restaurants, movie theaters,
etc., seem to cater only to very specific audiences. In other
words a bank may host a locator site strictly for its ATM's or
a site like "sidewalk.com" may provide locator services for theaters
and restaurants only. A universal locator Web site would behave
similar to mapping Web sites (i.e. Yahoo maps) and locator sites
like the ones mentioned above, but would be "universal" (to some
extent) in what it locates or plots on a map. In addition to that
users would be able to browse addresses of commercial areas in
much the same way one can browse through call numbers in a library's
on-line catalog. Or perhaps one could query the service to have
it locate an ATM or bank next to a video store and cleaners in
order to perhaps plan their trip better. Ideally if a user comes
across a business that has it's own Web site then the locator
site would provide a link for it.
The modifications that will be made to traditional mapping
and "locator" Web sites by this project will have some market
potential. Marketing will be a huge business case because by giving
the user a set of categories from which they can choose and search
from "audiences" that can be targeted will be created. Advertising
banners can be posted depending on the userís queries. In addition
to advertising the system could be designed to easily integrate
with other business systems, such as Fed. Ex (package locator),
bank ATM locators and movie locators, which would give the developers
the opportunities to establish themselves as a third party locator
service for businesses on the Web. In addition to these opportunities
there may also be some potential for incorporating personalization
within the application so that users can store their preferences
and run them across different geographic regions.
The goal of this project is to develop a working prototype.
The scope will be quite small. The spatial data and address listing
stored within the database will cover perhaps a small commercial
sector of a small town (i.e. Berkeley). In addition to that this
application will not be design to be deployed publicly. The estimated
user base for the project may range from 1-10 users max on the
system. However this does not mean that this application could
not go public without a few slight modifications.
The user who is perhaps planning a trip to a city they've
never been to could theoretically search streets for a hotel that
offers on-line reservations. Essentially this service combines
the yellow pages, key maps, entertainment guides, and travel guides
all into one. In addition to that, if and when a user comes across
the physical location of a business they will also come across
its Web site also.
The technology for the prototype will be a standard
Web application operating from a database back-end. This will
consist of a Web client-server architecture, a database, database-gateway
and perhaps some Java applets running on the client to facilitate
in the application user interface.
Team Member Roles
This project will involve working with spatial data
and address listings, database application design and implementation,
Web-database application design, and Web user interface design.
In addition to application design there will also be some amount
of Web content development as well.