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Canadian iPhone app makes sense of sentiment for restaurant hunters

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Canada’s Yellow Pages Group (YPG) has rolled out its Urbanizer iPhone app that lets users put in sentiment-based information to tell the app what kind of restaurant they are searching for based on mood, their social network status and other factors.

For example, users in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa can choose from a selection of pre-defined moods such as “romantic dinner” and “hipster snack” or use Urbanizer’s equaliser function to create a custom mood based on combinations of cuisine, ambiance and service categories.

The service is based on Exalead’s CloudView search-based application platform, which is embedded into the Urbanizer application architecture, and uses semantic extraction capabilities to distill sentiment from unstructured web data from consumer comments posted to Urbanizer.

“Matching the comprehensive restaurant information from Yellow Pages Group with the advanced social semantic capabilities of Exalead results in consumers being able to make better decisions,” said Nicolas Gaudeau, VP, Digital Media at Yellow Pages Group. “Then, by connecting through Facebook Connect, it becomes very easy to share experiences with friends.”

“The introduction of Urbanizer is ground breaking. Urbanizer is the first restaurant recommendation application that aligns with the emotional element of consumer decision making,” said Paul Doscher, US CEO of Exalead. “Exalead is pleased to have worked with the YPG team on this innovative project and assist YPG with its ongoing mobile transformation.”

Urbanizer is now available for download in the iTunes App Store as a beta version in English and French. Future versions will see cities added based on user votes as well as categories expanded to include nightlife, shopping, activities and events.

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