Every major city has thousands of accommodation options to offer. Accommodation booking sites practically force their users to waste time during searches. Overwhelming users with a very wide spread of search results isn’t always meaningful. Nor helpful, if the intention is to have potential bookers pick a hotel or apartment, easier and faster.
What about Location search filters?
When it comes to location, there’s usually a “classic” set of filters in use:
- distance to city center
- distance to a landmark
- official neighbourhoods
While those filters are useful, they do not provide the best possible guidance and user experience.
City center is not just a pin on map with a circle around it. It is an area with a different size and shape in every city. So, a hotel that is 900m from the city center, may actually be in a dull area, relatively far from what is perceived as the center. Or the other way around, it could just be right inside the city center area. It all depends on the size and shape of a particular city’s center.
Landmarks can be helpful. But how often a trip is planned to stay near a single landmark? Not too often. Most people just want to stay in a good, interesting area, nearby a variety of landmarks, things to do, and places to eat.
Well, then Neighbourhoods should help, right? Unfortunately not always. The boundaries of an official neighbourhood rarely fully correlate with the actual area of interest that could be associated to its name. Long lists of unfamiliar neighbourhood names, in languages users can’t understand nor remember are, more often than not, meaningless:
A more useful search option can be offered for properties located within a specific Area of Interest. For example, hotels and apartments located within or nearby the city’s Historical area. Or near the most popular Beach area, instead of any other point along the shoreline. Or in the City Center, which is different in size and shape for every city.
Wouldn’t that be more meaningful? Sure. But there’s a “small” challenge to overcome… How to define those areas in different cities, across different countries? There’s no official “Areas of Interest” boundary catalogue in existence. They have always existed, but as a fuzzy concept in people’s minds. Parsing user reviews about hotels is not a viable option, nor it would produce optimal results.
Top Areas of Interest by TopPlace™
Areas of Interest, also known as “Social Neighbourhood Personalities”, were introduced a few years ago as a set of TopPlace™ Map Layers. They are the result of AVUXI’s R&D work. Top Areas of Interest allow users to quickly understand where are the top, most relevant areas in an unfamiliar city. Some examples below.
Announcing the new TopPlace™ Rest API method for Areas of Interest
We made available a new Rest API method: “AOIs info” (AOIs = Areas of Interest) => /v1/GetAOIsInfo.
What does this mean?
It means that now is possible to leverage TopPlace™ “Neighbourhood Personalities” product to match accommodations located within, or nearby specific Areas of Interest. And it’s very easy to use.
For example, when sending the latitude-longitude coordinate of a hotel, the API returns:
The types of available Areas vary according to the city. Different cities would have more or less AOI’s. The categories of Neighbourhood / AOI types are:
- City center
- Historical area
- Business areas
- Shopping (high street areas)
- Young people (student zones)
Currently there are 67 major cities covered:
This new option will allow to provide more useful results to potential bookers.