Getting Geeky With Roger Middleton About RoomAtlas

by Anil Polat · 1 comment

roomatlasYesterday on foXnoMad, I spoke with Roger Middleton about RoomAtlas, a Google Maps hotel mashup. As the Tech Guide For Travel is for the geeky side of backpacking, I asked Roger a few more questions about how RoomAtlas works.

In a ‘tweet’ of 140 characters or less, please describe RoomAtlas.

RoomAtlas plots 53k hotels on Google Maps, with live pricing and availability. TripAdvisor, Wikipedia and Street View built in.

How did you develop RoomAtlas?

The site is built on a LAMP stack – Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, with a healthy dose of AJAX to make the map run smoothly. It took about 4 months to build and we’re constantly making tweaks and changes to improve the user experience.

From where and how does RoomAtlas pull its hotel and pricing information?

RoomAtlas uses an XML feed from Expedia and to deliver live hotel prices and availability for over 53,000 hotels.

How often are the hotels on RoomAtlas updated?

Our Expedia and feed is live – so our availability and pricing information is always up to date. If they add or remove a hotel from their database, that will be reflected on our map; and if they add a photo or text to hotel details, it’ll appear on our site immediately.

Is there a mobile version (or one in the works) for RoomAtlas?

Yes, we have iPhone and Android mobile versions in the works. We’re working on some functionality uniquely suited to mobiles, rather than just porting the desktop version – watch our blog for announcements!

Anything else you’d like to add about RoomAtlas that travelers who love technology might be interested in?

We’re very focused on performance, so have started converting our back end to run on JQuery and the Google Closure libraries. We’re looking forward to seeing if this will further improve the performance of our map.

Roger, thanks again for taking the time to tell us a bit more about RoomAtlas and how it works. It’s a wonderful mashup I think many travelers will find useful.

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