Interactive Roadmap for Long Distance Rambling (WalkOnWeb)01/10/2004 - 30/03/2008
Walking is becoming more and more popular as a leisure activity across Europe. Outdoor equipment has modernised, gained flexibility and lost weight. GPS devices for hikers are gaining popularity. On the other hand information about walking paths is still very diverse in terms of source, structure, availability and language. This is why it is still difficult for outdoor enthusiasts to get all the hiking path information they need.
WalkOnWeb wants to overcome this problem by defining a new publishing model for walking and tourist information. This model was elaborated by developing the necessary applications for content creation and dissemination, and by defining a supporting business model.
An interactive geographic map (Walk Planner) enables users to search for and navigate in walking paths. Tourist information such as hostels, restaurants and shops are integrated. At home users can print all information about a trail on paper or download it to a mobile device, which guides the hiker throughout the trail. An authoring tool enables a user-friendly creation and maintenance of path descriptions and associated tourist information in a collaborative manner.
By introducing an electronic and collaborative publishing system for walking path descriptions hiking associations and other content providers will move towards a new business model. WalkOnWeb has studied issues that might arise in such a model, such as intellectual property rights, payment mechanism and system maintenance. Based on this work the project has defined the business model enabling the future economic viability of the “digital walking guide”.
The innovative aspects of the WalkOnWeb technology are focused on two areas:
- using geo-ontologies to build and exploit semantically rich data structures
- using open standards to build highly usable map interfaces on small GPS-enabled devices while protecting the intellectual property of map providers.
A geo-ontology is a formal specification of concepts and the relations among them in the geographical domain. WalkOnWeb has developed a geo-ontology for the domain of rambling and defined data structures for capturing information about walking paths. This way information is semantically enriched in such a way that information authoring becomes easier, searching more adequate and publication can be done in a language-independent way.
For enabling rich map interfaces on mobile devices SVG was used. This XML standard allows vector-based graphics, so that usability and user interaction on a mobile device is optimal. Further the use of open standards ensures maximum portability and interoperability.
The project involved four groups of the K.U.Leuven: DocArch (Research Group on Document Architectures), SADL (Spatial Applications Division Leuven), ICRI (Interdisciplinary Centre for Law & Information Technology) and the division of Physical and Regional Geography. Next to them the project involves the European Ramblers Association, the French hiking federation FFRandonnée (Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pédestre), the French national geographic institute IGN (Institut Géographique National), the Spanish software company Moviquity, the Belgian GIS software specialist Luciad, the Austrian usability experts CURE, the Belgian publisher Lannoo and the Belgian tourist organisation Vakantiegenoegens.
The EU-funded period of the projected ended 30 March 2007. Several of the project partners are working together in an additional project year to prepare the commercialisatioin of the project's end results.
- Kris Berckmans
- Jurgen Berden
- Peter Eyckerman
- Bert Paepen
- Geert Vanpée
- Paepen, B. (2007, ). Ontologies At Work: Publishing Multilingual Recreational Routes Using Ontologies. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Electronic Publishing held in Vienna, Austria 13-15 June 2007 / Edited by: Leslie Chan, Bob Martens (pp. 451-453). Vienna, Austria: IRIS-ISIS Publications.
- Paepen, B. (2006, ). WalkOnWeb: An Electronic and Collaborative Publishing Platform for Recreational Routes. Brussels.
- Paepen, B. & Engelen, Jan (2006, ). Using a Walk Ontology for Capturing Language Independent Navigation Instructions. ELPUB2006. Digital Spectrum: Integrating Technology and Culture - Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Electronic Publishing held in Bansko, Bulgaria 14-16 June 2006 / Edited by: Bob Martens, Milena Dobreva. ISBN 978-954-16-0040-5 (pp. 187-196). Bansko, Bulgaria: ELPUB conference.
Last update: 11/05/2007