UNAI and the VISTA dashboard
A key component of the VISTA AR vision is to provide cultural heritage sites with rich insights into the visitor experience, such as:
• Where do visitors go: which parts of the site do they spend the most time in and which parts are less visited. Why? • How do visitors feel about different aspects of the attraction? What needs to be improved? • What is the breakdown of visitor demographics; for example, what languages do they speak and how does the experience differ for people from different cultural backgrounds?
Such insights are not available to the vast majority of tourist sites, who have not had the means to capture or to analyze such data before.There is strong demand from site managers to have access to this data to help improve or innovate their offerings.
The VISTA AR team needed to develop cloud-based software that could receive raw data collected from handheld devices and from text commentary left by visitors. Then, algorithms to derive the required insights needed to be developed and the results deployed to an online portal.
Unai was selected by VISTA to build the software toolset following a competitive, public tendering process. The company’s blend of data science, cloud services and product development expertise meant it was ideally suited to solve this challenge.
Due to its expertise in cloud-based software development, geospatial data and Natural Language Processing, Unai was in a position to assist the VISTA AR team by developing the cloud assets for the Visitor Experience Portal.
During the first phase of the project in 2019/20, the Unai team produced demonstrators for the key pieces of the solution, including:
• Natural Language Processing algorithms capable of extracting information from visitor reviews; both what was being commented on and how the visitor felt about it. Similar Sentiment Analysis algorithms were developed by Unai during its work with Public Relations clients to understand public opinion as it relates to businesses, products or issues they are concerned with.
Snapshot of the dashboard showing analysis of reviews
• A set of geospatial algorithms that could reconstruct a visitor’s journey around a site using a combination of beacon and GPS data from their electronic guides. The algorithms could also determine where visitors lingered and associate this to “points of interest” within the site. Such algorithms are also used by urban planners and transport authorities to reduce congestion and improve signage.
Visual representation of visitor trajectories around Exeter Cathedral
Graph showing visitor dwell time and trajectories at Exeter Cathedral
• A set of dashboards that aggregated and integrated both the review data and the geospatial data to give an overall view of visitor behavior and feedback.
The second phase of this project (running through 2020) is now underway. The Unai team is taking these prototypes and turning them into on-demand cloud applications that can process visitor data as it is sent.
For more information about the company, please visit their website: https://www.unai.com/