Tourist assistance system

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Budget:
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About project

Tourist assistance system with mobile applications, interactive touch terminals, and web-portal

Facts

The system contains 8,400 location descriptions in two languages and dozens of public transport routes.
Mobile applications for 4 mobile platforms are available.
Systems worked on more than 800 touch terminals.
Thousands of users operated the system during the Olympic Games in Sochi.

Customer

The government of the Krasnodar Region

Krasnodar region is a federal subject of Russia, located in the Southern Federal District. The region's population is about 5.5 million people on a territory of 75,485 sq. km.

The Region is characterized by industrial and agro-recreational types of development. The basis of the regional productive forces constitutes the industrial, construction and energy complexes, information and communication technologies, as well as agro-industrial, transport, resort and recreation, and tourist complexes. The last three - agriculture, transport, and hotel & tourist complexes - correspond to the priorities of the socio-economic development of Russia and determine the special status of the Krasnodar Krai in the national economy.

Also Krasnodar region city Sochi was the host city of the Winter Olympic Games of 2014.


Goal

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To provide a comfortable information environment to get the city information using different gadgets for Sochi citizens and visitors during Olympic and Paralympic Games “Sochi 2014”.

Challenge

We had a very short timeframe of 4 months to solve technical and informational issues. It was necessary to gather, structure and translate a huge amount of information. As well, we had to build up a reliable hardware infrastructure for high-load services. Moreover, the most complicated task was to implement a software solution able to deliver prepared information to Sochi visitors through all possible communication channels.

Tasks

1
To build a project editorials office.
2
To gather, structure and translate the information about over 8,000 locations in Sochi.
3
To create public transport routes processing engine.
4
To build up hardware infrastructure able to guarantee service.
5
To implement software solutions for web-portal, mobile applications and touch terminals of two kinds.
6
To implement self-monitoring and self-diagnostic software.
7
To provide integration with external systems.
8
To deploy project-management solutions for all participants.
9
To guarantee information updates and system stability during the Olympic Games.

Implementation

We discovered, structured and translated the information about thousands of locations and most popular places in four months. We created the database of public transport stops with coordinates and the registry of public transport routes operated by all state and commercial companies. Furthermore, we organized the editorial office and provided real-time news feed.

In parallel, we built two independent nodes of server infrastructure in two remote data centres. We used two CISCO USE BLADE systems of 2 BLADE servers each complemented with NetApp FAS2240-4 storage systems.

However, the main part was the software. In the first stage, we deployed the project management and collaboration system based on Bitrix24. It allowed us to plan and control all project jobs and tasks.

In the second stage, we created a web-portal and implemented basic editorial processes of information preparation, checking, translating and approving.

The next step was mobile application development for 4 platforms, the most popular at that moment: Android, iOs, Windows Phone and Blackberry. The customer chose such a wide range of technologies to provide maximum user coverage. The applications used a remote database as a main information source and updated automatically whenever it was online.

At the same time, our team worked on building terminal software. One of the terminal applications was integrated with the existent Qiwi payment terminals; another was launched on its own hardware acquired specially for project purposes. The hardware, or the terminals, were installed all over the city, helping people navigate through it. One of the key features was special mode for people with special needs. The mode provided interface controls at the bottom of the screen, allowing navigation for people using a wheelchair. 

In total, we deployed our software on more than 20 custom build terminals and hundreds of Qiwi payment terminals throughout the city.

The solution is built consists of four separate parts:

Results

1

We have published more than 8 000 places description into our system in two languages and organized the editorial office to deliver valuable content as quickly as possible

2

We have managed to build a stable system available on four types of devices:

  • Standalone terminals,
  • Mobile apps for iOs, Andriod, Windows Phone and Blackberry,
  • Software embedded into a payment terminal,
  • Web portal.

3

Our system is usable by people with disabilities. The terminal software contains special controls at the bottom part of the screen to provide an experience for people who use wheelchairs. Our web portal has a customizable contrast version for those who have visual disabilities.

4

Our product allows people to build routes to different places around the city effortlessly. The objects are classified into more than 70 categories to the fast way to find a location

Technologies

Basic technologies
1
.ASP.NET, Apache
C#, C++ (BlackBerry OS), Java (Android), Microsoft.NET
Storing and working with data
2
Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL
Web Interface
3
Adobe Flash, Google.Maps.API

Platforms

Web services
Web applications
Desktop applications
Mobile applications

Team

  • 3 project managers
  • 1 technical architect
  • 1 software architect
  • 2 PHP programmers
  • 1 Java (Android) programmer
  • 1 Objective-C programmer
  • 1 C++ programmer
  • 1 C# (mobile) programmer
  • 1 C# (WPF) programmer
  • 2 user interface designers
  • 2 HTML programmers
  • 1 JavaScript programmer
  • 1 system administrator
  • 1 database administrator
  • 2 system engineers
  • 2 editors
  • 8 journalists
  • 2 content manages
  • 5 translators
  • 5 quality engineers

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