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Visit Brussels with a real time city guide

Published on 19/07/2019 in Inspire

Visit Brussels with a real time city guide

The agency FamousGrey has developed a real time city guide for Visit.Brussels, called now.brussels. The app allows you to discover Brussels through the eyes of its true inhabitants.

“Brussels has a lot of beautiful places, many of them undiscovered by tourists, but known by the locals. Visit.Brussels came up with the idea of creating an app as part of a larger campaign aimed at French and Spanish tourists, that shows visitors where the hotspots are at any time of the day, in real time.” States Maarten Breda, Experience Director at FamousGrey.

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About now.brussels

If the user allows the app to determine his location, he can start using the city guide. Hotspots are available in 3 categories: eating, drinking and activities. Based on location, weather, choice of category and preferences of the locals, a suggestion list is created. What is Brussels doing at this moment? The app provides a map that show blue and yellow spots. The spots indicate where the locals and tourists are located.

Innovative with real time data

FamousGrey and Proximus are already working together today. “At FamousGrey, we always try to keep up with the latest Proximus technologies and solutions. We try to use them creatively and integrate them into solutions and campaigns aimed at our customers. For example, someone noticed Proximus recently launched Real Time Crowd Management (RTCM) technology and matched it to the needs of the city of Brussels.”

FamousGrey uses the RTCM API of Proximus EnCo. Via the microsite on enco.io, you can easily define certain zones and retrieve data about them over a predetermined period. The creation of the most interesting zones for the Now.Brussels app happens automatically, thanks to the availability of the API. This way FamousGrey retrieves data every day. The tracking happens at the highest granularity (100m x 100m).

Brussels has a lot of beautiful places of which many are undiscovered by tourists, but well known by locals.

Maarten Breda, Experience Director at FamousGrey

The zones have been defined both in collaboration with the Tourist Office and based on social media messages of Brussels residents, from which data is retrieved in real time.

“The zones form blocks next to each other on the RTCM microsite, but in the app these zones are flattened to ‘liquid shapes’ to obtain a visually attractive and well-arranged layout. The API then allows for the automated creation of data streams on the defined zones, with new data streamed every 5 minutes. The map is therefore updated every 5 minutes in the app.” According to Arno Van Biesen, web-developer at FamousGrey.

“In a second phase, it is anticipated that the ‘liquid shapes’ will also move in real time. But this processing was not the initial focus, so that is what is currently being worked on.”

Do you want to get started with the Real Time Crowd Management (RTCM) API from Proximus EnCo or do you want to talk to us?

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What does the future hold?

Visit.Brussels will be running the now.brussels app during the summer. After this period, an evaluation will be done based on usage and user feedback to decide whether the app will remain available on the longer term for visitors.”

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