p2dir: Phone to Directions
Phone to Directions
Phone to Directions (p2dir) is a "phone mashup" that provides driving directions based on start and destination telephone numbers.
Phone to Directions uses the following web services:
- The Ifbyphone telephony web service. For p2dir, Ifbyphone provides a telphone number for callers to reach p2dir as well as speech recognition, DTMF recognition, as well as text to speech. Ifbyphone GET/POST to send data it collects from the caller to the p2dir application, and receives a response formatted in XML.
Strikeiron's reverse directory service. Strikeiron accepts a phone number in XML format and returns directory information in XML format.
Mapquest's geocoding and routing web services. P2dir uses the XML version of these web services.
The application, which is written entirely in PHP, is explained in detail in the Documentation.
No Special Telephones: Telephone Accessible Geotagging
P2dir is a pure web services application that is accessbile from any telephone. The p2dir application does not rely on GPS, on cell phone tower locations, or on Java downloads to a smart phone. P2dir is the first of a series of phone mashups based on web services and what we call "Telephone Accessbile Geotagging," the fact that telephone numbers — which are visible almost everywhere and, unlike addresses, are designed for entry into a telephone — can often be used to find a location.
The caller dials a telephone number; the application answers and asks for the starting telephone number and the destination telephone number. The caller can either say the telephone number or key it in on the keypad. The application then speaks the driving directions between the locations associated with the two telephone numbers.
Of course there may be several error conditions. The caller might not be understood, in which case the system will ask them to repeat the telephone number. The caller may offer a telephone number that can't be resolved to a particular location (e.g., the Strikeiron database we currently use does not included mobile or unlisted numbers), in which case the caller will be asked to provide a different telephone number.
Status of Current Version
P2dir is in beta. The web services package provides very good
Licensing and Commercial Use
P2dir is covered by the MIT license; it's open source and can be freely modified. Commercially supported versions, customized versions, and hosted versions of the software can be obtained from Disaggregate.