Pediaphon as a location based service

February 12th, 2008

English Web version released!

Let your computer read out the Wikipedia article that fits best to your location! Use Wikipedia as a talking guide!

To extend the features of the Pediaphon service to a location based service some information about the users position is required.
The proposed approach assumes that the user is equipped with a GPS receiver, a cell phone or knows a least some address data of his location. In cases, where the user only knows some address
data, this information can easily be converted to GPS coordinates by the help of the Google maps API Web service. Even if only a PO.Box or city name is known, the Web service returns, relative to
the users real position, imprecise but nearby coordinates.

As a mobile user you can estimate your position with Google mobile my location without a GPS device! Unfortunately there is no open API to use it directly for external location based services like Pediaphon at this time.

With the help of a Web service at geonames.org it is possible to
get nearby geocoded Wikipedia articles of a given position. This approach is the so-called reverse geocoding. The Pediaphon location based service converts the given article to a spoken MP3 audio file on the fly for each position request. In a second step the
Web based Pediaphon service was enriched by a Google maps mashup. A Google map with markers of the users
position and the position of the geocoded nearby Wikipedia articles will be generated for each request, with the help of the Google maps API. Each marker provides on click a direct link to a
generated audio representation of the geocoded Wikipedia article. In case of an user equipped with a GPS receiver or cell phone (smartphone), this approach can be easily extended to an
automatic play back of the nearest Wikipedia article in case of a better fitting article with respect to user movements. This is the functionality of an automatic talking travel-guide in an unknown environment (e.g. a tourist guide).

Try the location based Pediaphon service here.



Google map mashup (satellite
view) with Pediaphon markers.