“Kokosil Sapporo” is the mobile application that provides information on tourism spots, restaurants, hotels, public transportation and events for tourists. With a geo-spatial position recognition system, tourists can get information at the point where they need it in a timely manner. They can drill down to information about a spot by tapping an icon on the map in the mobile application. By tapping the “go to this place” button, a navigation service from where they are to the destination is available on Google Maps. Because the information is automatically translated in multiple languages, users can select their desired language in the language settings for their mobile devices
This system to execute open data service for tourism, sports event and city information mentioned above is built according to the following steps:
- Add location data that show tourism and sports event information on Internet Map services.
- Deliver tourism and sports event information that are gathered from the basic platform to commercial businesses.
- Build the function that can deliver the tourism and sports event information gathered from the basic platform to citizens and local government offices.
- Build the function and platform that deliver location information from the beacons installed inside of buildings or underground streets to smartphone applications, allowing users to receive the information of the shops and merchandises.
- Automatically translate the information to multiple languages.
“The Sapporo Snow Festival Guide” is one of the mobile applications that provide event information to visitors. The Sapporo Snow Festival is a very large event which 3 million people visit in February every year. This application delivers event information such as snow sculptures, shops, location of public toilets, and tour bus meeting points.
We are going to develop an application for The Asian Winter Games held in Feb. 2017 as well. This will provide the game schedule and location, rules, stadium facilities and transportation services.
An Open Data Portal is built on CKAN and Microsoft Azure. This provides open data and programming guidelines for application developers. Developers can use industry standard tools including an API defined by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, Vocabulary defined by Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan.
Mobile applications leveraging open data are implemented on YRP UNL’s Kokosil u2 platform. Kokosil receives a ucode （ “ucode” is an ID system that is the basis of ITU-T’s International Standards H.642.1.） as the position ID from the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) markers installed at information signages. Then Kokosil sends the ucode to uID 2.0 that manages the ucode system and related data, and obtains the information connected with the ucode.
This mechanism can recognize the position where the Kokosil user is more precisely than GPS, whether the position is indoor or outdoor. The information provided by Kokosil is automatically translated to multiple languages by Microsoft Translator.
This system to execute open data service for tourism, sports events and city information mentioned has some notable features explained as below.
Point-of-interests (POI) are an important entity in tourist applications. POI information includes a title, a description and geographical position (longitude/latitude), as can be seen from the following example message about the famous Odori Park in Sapporo:
BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons are used as positioning technology. BLE beacons have been installed at signages and equipment of Sapporo City, both at Odori Park as well as in the underground shopping area of Sapporo station. Figure 4 shows one such installation, and Figure 5 shows all locations inside Sapporo station where the BLE beacon markers have been installed.
The u2 implementation platform is built on top of the Microsoft Azure infrastructure and forms the basis for the implementation of the complete CPaaS.io platform. MongoDB is used for storing and connecting Sapporo Open data and BLE devices.
This system API is based on “Information distribution cooperation bases system specification document” that is defined by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIC). Any user can get all open data information via this API. For details, please refer to http://docs-sapporo.odcity.org/.