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The Basics: Getting started

The Itinerary

The Itinerary Schema is a set of related items that can be used to compose a representation of lists, trips and trails.

When creating an itinerary, we can use different elements to represent the itinerary, and can use these elements as we transition between different types of content, such as a list that may contain some simple locations, through to trips and trails by introducing directions and routes.

As you introduce elements, your itinerary can transition from a simple list to something that can represent a multi-leg multi-segment multi-modal trip complete with selections of sights and activities for each stop and things to do along the way.
Information IconContent can be drafted, published and made discoverable for a profile. End-user content can be created using pseudo-anonymous itineraries. See the integration section to understand more about using itineraries.

The Location

The most primitive element of an itinerary is the ItineraryLocation. This creates an association to a place that exists in the physical world.

The place association can be a simple dropped location (such as a long/lat) position, but also can be an association to place information that exists.

The alpaca platform supports a wide range of extended cases for locations, including offering access instructions, arrival locations for routing and more.

You itinerary location can contain different information to your place information, which could contain narrative for your itinerary which may share storytelling.

Adding Content

Content can be attached to all elements of the itinerary in order to communicate specifics with your audience.

This can include common content such as:

  • Title, synopsis and descriptions
  • Gallery of Photos
  • 3rd Party Embeds; YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Spotify, etc
  • Classifications, Tags, etc

Content can be attached to your itinerary or to the individual elements appearing within the itinerary.

Place Data

Locations are commonly associated with places that with an ID. These are commonly sourced from various sources that refer to places that exist. Alpaca takes care of fetching and keeping this information up to date in accordance with the providers rate-limits and terms and conditions.

We refer to place data as being sourced from a Place Provider. Examples of a place provider that we support include open data providers such as OpenStreetMap, OpenAddresses, WOF, Geonames or commercial place providers, such as Facebook, ATDW etc.

When you query the place data, you will be returned with information about that place for you to build presentation screens, such as place contact information, addresses or opening hours.

Extended information available for places include ratings, opening hours with public holidays, and timezone information. We have created unified models of access for information from various data providers, making it easier to work with place data.
Information IconThe integration section discusses place data and options in more details. Place data can come from a wide range of sources or reference your own place data.

Extended Attributes

Data attributes exist on itinerary items in order to store additional data against parts of your itinerary. Hundreds of defined data attributes exist against different types of elements, which contain structured values for things such as Place data (like cuisine types and more).

Data attributes exist for most itinerary items and provides an opportunity to create custom data attributes that can contain your own data outside of the standard data attributes and structures. Developers often use extended data attributes to contain ID's that relate to their own data.

Extending types: The Itinerary Directions

As you activate and utilise features such as automatic routing, you can start working with directions.

These directions can automatically appear in your itinerary if you use auto-routing features and will represent the route between locations. You can control the modes of transport and search for itinerary directions or manually create your own waypoints or paths between locations.

  • Multi-modal transport, such as mixing walking, driving and more
  • Waypoints, controlling the specific route in order to direct users in specific route directions (e.g. not the fastest)
  • Manual route paths, such as GPX or map tracing
  • Alternative arrival routes or alternative modes of transport to move between locations
  • Provide alternative start locations, such as alternative major gateway towns
The Itinerary Directions object offers an extensive schema for storing multi-modal transportation. When getting started, often itinerary directions will contain the route between itinerary locations, representing walking, hiking, riding or driving.

Hierarchical Associations

In addition to these elements, an Itinerary Location also can contain additional itinerary locations assigned to them. These can represent places of interest or sights and activities that can be undertaken by visitors.

This provides a hierarchical structuring where a location can encompass multiple options, which could represent plotting a town or city, and indicating a number of locations to do in this area.

In industry talk, this structuring can often refer to an itinerary that could be structured as "place to place" or "product to product". A road-trip may direct the user to a town or area, and then provide a number of options to do in that area ("place to place"), opposed to an itinerary that may take the visitor to particular places (or products) along the way.

Optional Locations

Itinerary Locations can be marked as optional. This indicates that a location on the itinerary isn't necessarily part of the itinerary, but can be undertaken optionally. As such, the routing may not show it part of the itinerary.

Alpaca offers a number of controls for visibility and representation of locations on an itinerary.

Multi-day and Segments

Itineraries can be organised into collections and segments that can offer features such as segmenting a trail into different sections, representing suggested durations or distances, or even organised into seperate legs to represent different parts of a trip.

More Concepts

The itinerary structure does not stop there!

The above section is used to describe getting started with the itinerary schemas. As you progress with concepts, you will encounter more types such as Segments, Collections, Links and other features that are used to compose more detailed representations of itineraries.


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