1 University of Patras (GREECE)
2 University of Patras & CTI Diophantus (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 143-153
ISBN: 978-84-09-55942-8
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2023.0073
Conference name: 16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 13-15 November, 2023
Location: Seville, Spain
In this work we suggest “PCT: Patras Cultural Tourism”, an online voting web application aiming to promote cultural tourism by exploiting the wisdom of the crowd via Social Choice Theory and InfoVis. More precisely, "PCT" provides a platform for registered users to share their viewpoints or seek for the opinion of others on issues related to cultural tourism in Patras, Greece. To do so, users can cast their votes for posted polls and surveys or create their own polls and surveys using their desktop or mobile devices. Furthermore, "PCT" provides visitors with comprehensive visualizations of voting results and additional functionalities including analytics and instant messaging.

We focused on Patras since it is the city hosting our University and also because of its significant potential in cultural tourism. Patras, located in the northern Peloponnese, is the third largest city in Greece and Greece's "Gate to the West". Patras is a commercial and cultural hub mainly due to its busy port, which is a nodal point for trade and communication with Italy and the rest of Western Europe and eastern Mediterranean. To the best of our knowledge, no other applications have been suggested either focusing on aspects of cultural tourism in Patras or exploiting Social Choice Theory and InfoVis for promoting regional cultural tourism.

Social Choice Theory (SCT) - and especially Voting Theory - addresses how to interpret the will of people and bring out a satisfying collective decision based on elections in democratic societies, where all citizens have an equal say in the decisions. SCT provides a set of methods for the aggregation of a set of individual preferences into a collective preference, and thus can support decision making. Such methods include collecting data using different kind of polls, which actually work as ranked, approval (e.g., y/n questions) and cardinal (e.g., rating/score questions) voting systems. Our application enables registered users to create such polls for specific issues/questions related to cultural tourism in Patras. Answers are in the form of preferences/votes which are collected, analyzed, aggregated, and visualized so that users are provided with quantitative and qualitative information. Furthermore, notifications are automatically provided for new polls and newly submitted votes.

For visualization purposes, we deployed Information Visualization (InfoVis) techniques for designing visual representations of abstract data to help users increase their knowledge about the internal structure of data and the causal relationships between them. In addition, all generated visualizations together with the corresponding data files are fully downloadable so that interested users can save them locally and further process them.

"PCT" is a lightweight and responsive application with an easy-to-use, friendly graphical interface. It does not require installation nor advanced skills to use. It has been developed using mainly html, css, javascript and php as well as additional packages, including chart.js and leaflet.js for the visualization of voting results.

Apart from its individual usefulness, "PCT" can be appropriately adapted for other cities. And can also be of particular interest in education and culture as it can offer young people an innovative opportunity to actively exercise aspects of democracy and also assist the dissemination of local culture and the promotion of the multicultural nature of visitors.
Cultural tourism, web app, crowdsourcing, Social Choice Theory, Voting Theory, collective decision making, democracy, InfoVis, responsive, javascript, php.