As we’ve been talking about my mythical travel planning website idea, we’ve had a couple of pieces of feedback.
First my friend Rich, hot on the heels of his converter of the London BBC Weather site for degrees Andronov has made an implementation of the distance to hot problem mentioned in this post last week. It’s really nice and, of course, it shows the temperatures in degrees Andronov as well. Check it out here: http://andronov.rjmd.eu/holiday/
Second, my father has mentioned another really simple thing that is almost impossible to do. He recently wanted to travel somewhere as a quick weekend break and because he wanted it to be easy he wanted to be able to travel from his closest airport. So all he needed was a list of all of the places you could fly to from that airport.
This is something that you can’t get hold of. You could go to an airport website and say, “show me all flights from Birmingham International to Prague” and see if any flights come up. And then repeat the search with, “show me all flights from Birmingham International to Copenhagen” and build up a list that way. But that seems a really inefficient way of doing this.
As I said in my last post. I keep finding different ways that I want to be able to get to the data.
How many top notch restaurants are there in the city? How likely is it to rain? How many museums are there? How many clubs? How hot is it? Are there public beaches? How far away is it? Is it available from my local airport? How much is it?
Each of us has different mechanisms to decide how we go on holiday. We all go through a process. And that’s what I want to simplify here. I want to put all those factors in order of importance to me and then have the destinations which are most likely to work to bubble to the top. So at the moment I want to get some winter sun. I want to go somewhere on holiday in February which is not too far away and has some nice restaurants and a few museums. So say that list above was the complete set of questions, I would put them in order of importance on the screen of my mythical website like this:
1 – In February
2 – Warmer than [25 degrees C]
3 – Closer than [Not set – order by this factor]
4 – More than  top notch restaurants
5 – More than  museums
6 – Less than [£xxxx can’t think of a good number to put in here]
So what it would do is bring me back a list ordered in bands. Band 1 would be places that match every criteria ordered by distance from the UK. Band 2 would be places that match the first 5 criteria, but cost more than the limit price, etc.
I think that would be a really neat way of helping me decide where to go. But what other criteria can you think of? Which other questions do you have when you are deciding where to go?