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Creating and updating points of interest

As mentioned in our vision, FairplayTrips is made of open content, contributed by users under a free license, or imported from external sources of similarly licensed content.

Point of interest information is a central element in FairplayTrips' organization.

What is a point of interest?

From our beloved Wikipedia:

point of interest, or POI, is a specific point location that someone may find useful or interesting

The term has been coined first in GPS navigation systems, to identify all the places any road traveler would find useful along the way (e.g. a gas station, a restaurant, etc.).

Quickly, the concept was extended to any kind of place (on a map, i.e. with GPS coordinates - a latitude and a longitude) with an interest for someone.

Please not that the concept of "point" can be sometimes misleading: extended areas are also considered "points (sic) of interest" within FairplayTrips, for the sake of homogeneity and simplicity. For example, a large park, or even a lake (both with extensive areas) will be represented as points of interest in FairplayTrips. Usually, the main spot of the place (i.e. its entrance for a museum) or its centroid are used as geographic coordinates.

Are there different kinds of POI?

The short answer is: Yes. We identify 3 different kinds of POIs to help everyone better use FairplayTrips:

  • Published POIs: they are the usually most popular and "well known" places, and are either recognized as such by the community or have been imported from a source validating its significance (usually Wikipedia). Examples include the Eiffel Tower (pretty well known, uh?), the Great Sphinx of Giza or the Niagara Falls. Everyone can see Published POIs.
  • Public POIs: they are POIs which have been submitted by the community, but have not (yet) been recognized as both authenticated and of significance. These could be a grocery store that comes in handy during travel starvation phases, or a nice meetup place within a larger POI (a cool picnic sport in park). Everyone can see Published POIs.
  • Private POIs: they are POIs which a related to a FairplayTrips user, and that can only be viewed by the user and through the trips she creates. Examples include a holiday home that you enter as part of your trip, or a specific meeting point with friends (with no other interest than... meeting your friends!).
    Beware: a private POI becomes visible by everyone if it is included in a publicly visible Trip.

Categorizing points of interest

As a point of interest can be anything as long as it can be put on a map, it is necessary, in order to facilitate the search of POIs, to link points of interest to various categories.

In FairplayTrips, categories of points of interest are called Activities. There are over 500 different activities, all assembled in a (mostly) coherent hierarchy.

Examples of activities include 'Restaurant', 'Museum', 'Hotel' or 'Park'. Read more on activities here. {TODO: detail activities in another page}

Information linked to a point of interest

A point of interest is at a bare minimum (mandatory information):

  • A name, if possible in all FairplayTrips supported languages;
  • A latitude and longitude, as precise as possible (associated with a country);
  • At least one FairplayTrips activity categorizing the point of interest.

Further to the above minimal information, it is highly desirable to provide:

  • The postal address of the POI;
  • Other contact information with the people operating the place should they exist (email, web site, phone, fax number);
  • If applicable, opening times of the POI.

How do I find points of interest?

Points of interest are everywhere in FairplayTrips.

  • Using the Search box available at the top of each page, you can find any published POI.
  • When creating a trip, points of interest can be added to the trip using powerful search filters mostly based on activities.

Points of interest are usually ranked by "popularity", using a variety of techniques. If you search some "confidential" POIs, please do not hesitate to be very specific in your search criteria (name and activities).

I see some missing or incorrect information - How do I modify?

At this point in time, anyone with a FairplayTrips account can edit POI information (unless the POI is protected - see content protected {TODO: add a "content protection" + administration rights hierarchy/roles page}).

If you see an information which is not correct or incomplete on a POI, go to the POI page (through the search box), and click the "Modify..." button in the POI toolbar.

From there, you can modify all information related to the POI.

Discuss your changes

Every POI has an attached discussion tab. This is the place to discuss some proposed changes with other contributors. If you plan to modify information in a significant manner, please discuss your change with other contributors in the Discussion page.

Be responsible, since everyone will see right away the changes you make, but also be aware that without your valuable contributions, FairplayTrips does not exist.

How do I create points of interest in FairplayTrips?

I you see missing information on FairplayTrips (for instance a place that you want to visit on your next holidays, or a place that you know, loave and want to share with the community), then it is time to add a point of interest to the site.

First and foremost, please ensure that you will not enter a duplicate point of interest. While we have procedures to deduplicate POIs, it is always best for everyone to have only one version, complete and up to date, of a place.

On the POI creation page, when you enter the name of the place that you want to create, a list of potential duplicates will appear on the right. Please check it thoroughly, to ensure that you are creating an original POI.

Once you have checked for uniqueness, please provide as much information as possible about the POI. Take your time to gather all necessary information beforehand!

As described above, please provide the following information:

  • The name of the POI if possible in all FairplayTrips supported languages;
  • At least one FairplayTrips activity categorizing the point of interest.
  • The postal address of the POI;
  • All available contact information (email, web site, phone, fax number);
  • If applicable, opening times of the POI.

Latitude and longitude

One more very important information is the geographic coordinates of the POI.

As you provide a name and a postal address, we will try to determine the POI's geographic coordinates automatically, using a dedicated service.

As you know, FairplayTrips rely exclusively on open content information. This also applies to geographic information sources. In order to determine geographic coodinates (semi) automatically, we use the excellent Nominatim service, based on OpenStreetMap data.

While this service is highly satisfactory, it is however frequent that the coordinates returned are not precise enough.

For instance, if you provide a complete address (123 Baggot Street, Dublin, Ireland), it is possible that the coordinates do not correspond to the precise address, but only to the street it belongs (and, in our example, the coordinates would match a point somewhere in Baggot Street, but not number 123). It can even correspond to the city itself, with a point somewhere in Dublin, but not even in the specified street, let alone the street number.

At this stage, a map will have appeared with the information that could be retrieved automatically. If the precision defined above the map is not "Address", this means that further refinements are necessary. In order to determine precise coordinates for a POI, we follow Wikipedia guidelines provided here.

When you have determined precise latitude and longitude, enter them in the related text boxes, and you are ready to submit your POI.