Travellers in general and tourists in particular are expecting services that are customised to their individual needs and preferences, are available to them in a timely and accurate manner, and are available to them when they are on the move. WH@M strategic goal consists in responding this need by providing on-the-move, real time, location-dependent, customised tourism & travel information and Value Added Services that any individual at certain point of time may require. This strategic goal is translated into a project objective, namely the development of an innovative services platform and software modules. WH@M will be validated in three pilot sites in Spain, Greece and Finland.
WH@M's project objective is the development of an innovative suite of software modules and services.5LCapable of gathering multisource (public, private, sponsored) information (tourism, travel, weather, etc.).
Capable of processing this information (aggregation, customisation).
Capable of disseminating this information, through the web and personal mobile services.
Capable of customising the information dispatched by means of advanced user profiling techniques.
Capable of supporting the advanced user interaction.
Capable of supporting the provision of Value Added Services (VAS).
Linkable and/or transferable to other EU sites and tourism actors by means of the relevant emerging standards.
This project objective will be achieved operationally by means of three prototypes of the system to be validated in three different Member States. A city information and service centre based in Madrid and its metropolitan area. An intercity/regional multimodal tourist/traveller information service in Greece. An information and service centre serving Levi, a major tourism resorts in Lapland (Finland).
The WH@M work plan is structured in seven work packages combining the technical implementation with the other necessary tasks for project management, as well as for disseminating and exploiting the project results. The user needs and requirements will be performed by means of a user survey identifying stakeholders, reviewing existing technologies and best practices and formalising the user needs and requirements by means of identifying and classifying different user groups. An accurate analysis of the user needs and requirements will be the next step. In parallel to the identification of user needs and requirements the information structures to keep track of the innovations on integration of tourism data sources will be identified. In this context, the Consortium aims at participating in the consensus formation on standard and portable tourism data technologies and architecture. This will be done through two phases. The first one that will rely on the identification and definition of the data sources and structures and also to the design of the module of data gathering and information. The second one will address the EU connectivity issues. The requirements will then be traced into technical specifications, both of the services platform as a whole and of the individual software modules. The final result will be a system architectural design that will follows an object oriented modelling methodology, it is expected to use UML. The development of the modules will be done on the basis of the previous analysis and design work already mentioned. It will be carried out the implementation and integration of all WH@M software modules: content gathering and integration, user profiling, info broadcasting and intelligent value added services. Once the first prototype will be finalised, it will be evaluated in laboratory conditions. Issues as the integration of the modules, the compliance of the operation of the system with the technical specifications, the robustness, reliability, etc will be assessed.
A verification plan will be created providing training period where the user of WH@M service centre will develop test scenarios with the evaluation criteria defined at the first stage of the project. The whole integrated services platform will be evaluated in three different sites. The final product will be exploited by the Consortium partners.
The main expected result of WH@M proposal is the production of a suite of software modules and services. It will be associated to milestones M5. This prototype will be installed, evaluated and refined in three European pilots located in Spain, Finland and Greece. Other important milestones related to project progress are the User needs & requirements M1, modules specification M2, modules design M3, Implementation and first prototype M4, Evaluation and final prototype M5.
WH@M system provides multisource (public, private, sponsored) information. The data collected from the different sources is categorised and stored in a database following the common taxonomy agreed by the Consortium. The gathered information is packaged and presented to the users in a common format independently of the source and the same information is adapted to both PC and mobile devices. The collected information is processed and customised. A profiling functionality has been developed, where the user may characterize himself/herself into a series of predefined categorizations that best describe his/her preferences. At the same time, advanced profiling techniques have been developed, more concretely; there is a non-intrusive approach to collecting explicit users’ profiling information from users’ browsing through the system. Among the major capabilities and added values derived from the WH@M system are the information services towards the direction of supporting trip planning decisions. Trip planning decisions and information requirements can be viewed either from the perspective of pre-trip planning, that is, decisions taken before the trip planning and arrangement and on trip re-planning, that is, decisions imposed by necessary, real time changes during the trip and while being on the move.
The WH@M information centre will provide a wide range of destination options, accommodation and transportation information services to help the user plan or re-plan part pr the whole of the tourism and travel activities. The system will be able to deliver real time data to the end users and travellers in response to requests on intermodal trips for a specified origin - destination pair. In addition, real time data (e.g., actual flight and short-sea shipping schedules) that will allow for multimodal connections will be also available. Finally, WH@M will constitute an alternative promotion channel for the content providers of the system on the grounds that they will be more easily accessed on a 24-hours basis. WH@M also provides intelligent push service, which is a service supporting others. Information about incidents, services and activities in the area is directly sent to the user following a pre-established set of rules that determine which information can be delivered to each user. The pushed information is sent to the users in SMS format and users have the possibility to give permission to be or not to be pushed. The most immediate Intelligent VAS that the system provides is the customised information/services sponsoring, The user perceives the messages from the sponsor as useful information as opposed to the useless banner bombing that he suffers when trying to find useful information in the web. The system allows advanced user interaction. Users are able to interact with the system service providers giving feedback information about the different services.
General opinions are stored into WH@M system and they are available to all the users. A general message board for introducing impressions/opinions has been develop and at the same time, users can see the messages from previous users. This information can also be useful for intermediate users who have introduced the data of their SMEs in the system in order to improve the quality of their services according to the users feedback. Feedback to concrete elements is also possible by generating email to predefined email address or introducing the opinion in a specific service message board. In the case of specific message board, the information is available for all users who enter the concrete element. The project has been developed in three European different sites, Levi in Finland, Athens in Greece and Madrid in Spain. The global structure and functionalities are the same for the three sites but each one has adapted the system to its specific characteristics according to the actual situation and user requirements.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts