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Yahoo joins the travel search game April 13, 2006

Posted by Timothy Li in developmemt, vertical search engine, wind, yahoo.

Yahoo blog introduced some serious competitions for Kayak (travel search engine) and the Canadian based x-files (hotel search engine) yesterday.

Beside the hotel location mapping feature (very similar to x-files), what’s new is an initiative called the Trip Planner. A quick try out of this new service did not make much sense, but Yahoo certainly has plans to serve great purposes with this innovation, just a matter of making it obvious to dummy travelers like me.

The very smooth integration with Flicker albums is definitely a plus and will be one of the sale points. A promised community feature is something to look forward to. What’s notable is that a very early stage API is also provided, hooray for the APIs.

The community feature is an attempt to tie commercial features (hotel booking system) with a user collaboration platform (a travel forum). An idea dangerously close to what map my travel set out to do.

Bravo to Yahoo =)




1. Arlen - May 10, 2006

Hey Timothy,

Thanks for the shout out and link to X-Files. Fyi, you may have better luck with this “permalink” since the www2 server is just one in a pool of load-balanced servers.


PS: I guess I should really add permalink note/feature to Hotels-X site…I get a lot of links to thbe individual webservers themselves :)

2. Timothy Li - May 16, 2006

Hi Arlen,
Thanks for dropping by. the link to X-files is modified.

I just got back from a short break from blogging. How are things? =)

3. Sean McDonald - May 27, 2006

Hi Timothy,

Did you have any luck rewriting http://www.kayak.com/labs/api/search/ksearch.txt into php? I am running into some issues and was hoping maybe you had had some success.

I work with a travel company as well and would like to talk to you about some of the things you’re working on.



4. Timothy Li - May 28, 2006

Hi Sean,
Nice to meet you.

Yes I was able to port the Ruby code to PHP about two months ago. I’d be happy to help you out =)


5. Sean McDonald - May 29, 2006

Hi Timothy,

Thanks for the reply!

Really the issue is my lack of experience working on unix based servers. I come from a windows development background so I am not really sure how to implement the Ruby script. I am not the administrator for the server so I’m not sure if that causes any problems or not.

Look forward to your insight.



6. Timothy Li - May 30, 2006

Hi Sean,
Generally speaking, not being the admin shouldn't cause any problems. But the admin herself can at least tell you whether Ruby is supported.  Also ask the admin about the file extention (ie. fileName.ruby or fileName.pl) you should use for ruby scripts.

here is the PHP script I used initialy for mapmytravel.com. I put in a comment with the string "main()" to indicate where the program starts.

1. Be sure to first change the $token variable to your own API key
2. initialize these two variables at the beginning of main()

$todestinationsBox = "london,barcelona,"
$datesBox = "07/17/2006,07/19/2006,"

php.net is THE resource for php =) good luck


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