This is a first try of a diagram for the social database that is going to store all the location data for the Talking-Points project. The database has two main goals:
1) make it as easy, accessible and usable as possible to contribute to the database
2) provide relevant and reliable information for each location
The format of the diagram is similar to an ER diagram but at this point only intended to show the concept of the database and not yet the actual tables that it will consist of.
The basic concept of the database is to differentiate between two kinds of location information. On the one hand (marked with the red ellipse) the core location information and on the other hand additional information.
The core information is supposed to include the most relevant, straightforward and reliable information about the location. This includes a meaningful title, a short description and location metadata such as coordinates, address, official URL and so on. This information is created when a location gets tagged with an RFID tag. Important about this information is that it needs to be objective and reliable. We are not 100% sure how we will ensure this, but there will be some form of checking and moderation. You can think of it a little bit as stable versions for Wikipedia.
The additional information is where the social part comes into play. Once the user has some basic information about the location he might want to know more. In this case we would like to offer different directions/types of additional information:
- One direction is going to be opinions. Here the users can rate the location on a 5-star scale and state their opinion.
- A second direction would be current information about the location. This could be opening times, news stories related to the location or also current special offers in case the location is a business.
- The last direction would additional general information about the location. This information would be stored in maintained in a wiki page so that every user could add what they think is relevant concerning the location. One topic that would probably be interesting for many locations, would be something about its history.
In addition to that you will also be able to add links and tags to the locations. The tags could be used to only get notified about certain locations that are tagged with for example “blind” or “tourist”.
To see which information will actually be presented to the user of the mobile device I have marked those with the green ring. Anything else will be used only indirectly for this part.
One really major thing that we still need to address are incentives for putting information into the database. The design should already be fairly easy and usable, so that barriers to use it are low. But lack of barriers is not enough, there also need to be positive incentives. There is the incentive that you will help blind people by maintaining location information in this database, but how could user make personal use of that?
As with anything on this blog, any feedback that you have concerning our database design is very welcome and will be highly appreciated.