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One of the things that has been on my “list of things to do” for awhile is building an open source hotel database.  There are a variety of hotel lists out there – some brands actually publish all of their hotels by category (Starwood) on their website, while others do not.

Some sites like like Award Mapper, Pointimize, and Hotel Hustle have hotel databases, but sometimes those get out of date or otherwise have to be maintained.  I have seen some brands be compiled on sites like Loyalty Lobby or Travel is Free as well, but again, that requires constant maintenance in order to be up to date and accurate.

Crowd sourcing the data

There’s no doubt that a complete (and accurate!) listing of hotels would be a valuable tool.  Both Award Mapper and Hotel Hustle made it onto my list of the Top 10 miles and points tools.

Here is the basic framework that I’m thinking of

  • A series of JSON files (starwood.json, hilton.json, etc)
  • Hosted on GItHub
  • Anyone could contribute (though initially you’d need to have some knowledge of Git, JSON and pull requests); each pull request would be reviewed
  • To start, we’d just have basic things like Hotel name, brand, location, URL, reward cost.  I could see some sort of schema that listed available fields.  Once we get the basics, we could add more attributes

My thought is to have crowd-sourced data files available to the community that various front-end sites could then use.  Depending on how many volunteers we get and how much time we have, I could see a couple of additional avenues, like an admin tool to more easily allow contributions, a visual front-end, and more

Call for volunteers

If you’re interested in contributing to an open source hotel database (or I guess, if you even know what in the heck I’m talking about), we are talking about it on the #opensourcehotel channel of the Points With a Crew miles and points Slack channel.  Email to join and help contribute!

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