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TMCNet:  Travelling made easier with a pocketdigital guide

[June 21, 2010]

Travelling made easier with a pocketdigital guide

Jun 21, 2010 (Mint - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Pocket Travel Assistant, or PTA, is a free-of-cost mobile phone application that promises to bring the world to the fingertips of travellers.

It compiles a range of information about places of tourist interest globally, including landmarks, history, culture, weather, street addresses and phone numbers.

This is beefed up with local news, maps and content such as mobile phone books to serve as a comprehensive digital travel guide.

"The initial motivation was to create a proof of concept mobile mash-up application of non-mobile data sources, and to make it available on mobile," said Samir Kumar Dash, the entrepreneur who has created PTA. "The idea was to provide the traveller with a one-stop solution for all his travel needs." Using PTA, travellers can also directly access images or video clips of a particular destination available on websites such as Wikipedia, Flickr and YouTube.

The application uses the location of the phone to provide users with local emergency numbers, such as police helpline or the nearest clinic or hospital.

In places where language is a barrier, PTA links to the Google language translator page to help out with simple phrases in the local language.

It has its limits. PTA does not provide information about the remote villages of India unless they have a historical or geographical significance.

But with the use of the Ineternet rising in India, Dash is hopeful. "As the data PTA uses is based on Internet data, in time more and more information about the remotest places will be available," he said.

The application is available for Flash Llite 3x-enabledmobile phones only. Users need a GPRS/Wifi connection that allows data transfer to use it.

"(Being) easy to download and free of cost with no hidden charges involved makes the product even more usable by a traveller, along with its additional features," said Dash.

PTA was adjudged the best application in mobile content category at Manthan Awards South Asia 2009, and was a semifinalist at the 2009 Adobe Max Awards.

Dash is also working on a Hindi version of the application.

For more details on PTA, compatibility information and to download, go tohttp://www.mobilewish.com To see more of Mint, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.livemint.com. Copyright (c) 2010, Mint, New Delhi Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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