Gary Gale, Head of UK Engineering, Yahoo! Geo Technologies
Total Hotspots is a London based startup, founded in 2004 by Alex Housley, that provides an independent wifi hotspot directory service, featuring 200,000 free and paid locations in over 100 countries via a web presence and an iPhone application, developed in conjunction with Rummble.
The original version of Total Hotspots relied heavily on search to allow users to discover a hotspot and were looking for a way of categorising hotspot locations to provide an alternate to search. Reflecting a hotspot’s location via a unique URL would allow for intuitive discovery by users as well and improving SEO for the site. “We moved towards a directory model which complements search” said Alex during talks with Geo Technologies in London earlier this month. “Our problem was that of maintenance; how best to categorise hotspot locations by area withvariable address formats, localisations and levels of accuracy“.
We’re pleased to say that Total Hotspots were able to solve their problems with the help of Yahoo! GeoPlanetand that their new directory of hotspots is now live on the web. “(GeoPlanet) allows us to surf through a comprehensive and regularly verified hierarchy of places and as GeoPlanet is maintained by Yahoo! Geo Technologies there are no maintenance overheads“.
Alex uses the WOEID metadata provided by GeoPlanet to allow each hotspot to automatically populate community information and personalised recommendations by combining their hotspot database and the Rummble API from their hotspot database; “(web) communities aren’t just based around (specific) locations, they’re based around places“.