p2dir: Phone to Directions

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TAG: Telephone Accessible Geotagging

Basic Concepts of TAG

One of the hard problems in providing directions is entering an address for a start or destination — especially for someone driving a car in an unfamiliar city, where the driver might not even know in which town they're currently located.

Telephone numbers are ubiquitous. Businesses display them on their doors; most homes have at least one telephone number assigned to them. Because many if not most telephone numbers can be associated with a geographic location through reverse directory lookup, telephone numbers are actually a form of geotag. We call this concept "Telephone Accessbile Geotags," and the idea opens up an entire range of interesting services.

From a developer and user standpoint, TAGs are very easy to use. After all, telephones are designed to accept telephone numbers as keypad input, and telephone numbers are also easy for speech technology to interpret. From a user standpoint, they do not need to know what street or what city they're in — they only need to know the telephone number.