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Our data and software engineers did something very clever with POIs

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30 August 2018, 22:00

Public | Dutch

What's the problem?

When you have to create a Place of Interest, it is always an issue what type to select. Do you classify the Natural History Museum with the type "Museum", or with the type "Natural History Museum". And what if a user selects POIs with the type "Museum". Does that user gets also the type "Art Museum"? Not in the past. But that changed!

Here comes the solution: mulitple hierarchies

Our data and software engineers changed our one dimensionel list of types of POIs where you could only select one type into something much more clever.

Every POI-type is structure in multiple hierarchies. An examples: An Art Museum is also a Museum. So is a History Museum. And a Museum is a Culture place. But a "Museum" is also a "Building".

What's does that solve?

This structure solves quite a few things:

  • If you want to search for museums, you want to see the more detailed classified museums such as the "Art Museums". And this is exactly what happens when you search for POIs of the type "Museum"
  • If you want to see the "Buildings" in an area, you also want to see the museums popping up. But if you want to see the "Cultural places" in an area, also in that case you want to see the museums.
  • If you mark a tower and you don't know yet what kind of tower it is, you can now mark it as "Tower" and later on change it into something more specific such as a "Bell tower" or a "Radio Tower"
  • If person A and person B both create two different types of features close to eachother, it allows our deduping software to reason in a much better way to check if these objects represent the same place/object in reality, so we can link them to the same location.

But how do I find a specific type in the hierarchy?

The handy feature of a simple long list as we had before is that you can sort it easily based on the alphabet. Everybody know where to find "Mill". To allow to find it in the hierarchy, a search field was added at the bottom of the list. Just type in a word and we will select a match. 

Try it out!

Here you find this new structure:

But is that enough to structure the places?

Definitely not. That's why we have already for a long time the option to classifiy every POIs with multiple (!) :

  • Themes
  • Characterstics
  • Groups

But that's not new. If you forgot about it, read more about it here.

 

 

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