I provide free text message based weather, directions, and business info

Hi y’all. Someone posted a link to my service in a comment to another topic here. I figured I might as well make a post.

I created a service that gives text message based information.
You have to send a text message to 1 (312) 313-1234 with the right format depending on what you want.

Directions

The form should be [mode] from [origin] to [destination] . For example: drive from UC berkeley to Oakland airport . The possible modes of transportation are ‘drive’, ‘walk’, ‘bike’, and ‘transit’.

Contact info

You can also get the phone number and address of a businesse with the format info for [place] . For example info for uc berkeley .

You can get up to 20 nearby places with find [type of place] near [specific place] . For example: find grocery near uc berkeley .

Weather

Use the form: “weather for 55555” (with your zip/postal code instead of 55555)

I realize a lot of people are in Europe. Right now the number only supports USA and Canada. But I should be able to add a European number if there is enough interest.

It’s free to use. If you’d like to support the project there is a donation button here: https://github.com/ouidevelop/text-message-directions/blob/master/README.md

Feel free to ask me anything about the project.

12 Likes

Hi Michael

thanks for your description of the txt info service, looks very cool. As for Eirope, texting a US number is not a major issue, but how would I ask for the weather in for example Zurich? Can it handle directions for destinations in Europe?

All the best
Michael

6 Likes

@Michael_Kurrels, it’s great to see your post here after our email thread that started with me trying your service!

Thanks for posting the “weather for [ZIP Code|Postal Code]” command here, as I overlooked that when I was at your GitHub page.

To readers in the USA and Canada: Please…

  1. Give this service a try.
  2. If you get an error message, then share it with Michael through the contact form at http://ouidevelop.com/.
  3. Donate something, if you like and use the service.

I tried the directions command with my home in the ‘from’ position and one of my city’s airports in the ‘to’ position, and I got back turn-by-turn directions to the airport. – Super-handy for when you switch to the Mudita Pure and don’t have an in-car navigation system

4 Likes

This is great. A great workaround, especially nav.

I do wish Mudita built in weather — who gets addicted to weather!? Lol

2 Likes

I think everything should work in Europe, as it’s all just using google api’s. The weather is someone else, forget who. I just tried a zip code from zurich and it didn’t work, so I’d probably have to use a different api from Europe for the weather.

I think that i’d rather not have European people use that US number, as I think it costs me more to send those texts to other countries. I feel like I remember some english guy getting directions once that cost me something like 3 dollars. That’s not a big deal, but if a bunch of people do that it could add up…

5 Likes

dang, I actually do have a really similar service setup for myself only. I filtered that only my phone number triggers requests. I was curious as to how you manage spam or abusive behavior. For example if someone asks the weather for 100 times an hour or so. This could add up really quickly!

2 Likes

@ilikeit

Ya that’s a good question. I was initially worried about that sort of thing, which is why I didn’t advertise the service all that much. But luckily people haven’t really abused it so far.

3 Likes

At least I haven’t found anything on Twilio to suggest that they somehow allow any kind of rate limiting on their site before hitting the callback URL.

2 Likes

Ya I don’t think so. But I’m sure I could do that in the application itself if it became necessary.

2 Likes

Well this info and service is very useful for everyday tasks. Thanks for sharing!

4 Likes

@Michael_Kurrels, perhaps a way to “internationalize” this functionality would be to build it into the Mudita desktop app (with codebase repository at GitHub). This could eliminate for Mudita Pure owners the need to ask for directions, weather, etc., in the USA or Canada. And, it would eliminate for you the financial overhead of responding to incoming SMS messages. Instead, the Pure owner would submit a request via the desktop app, which would retrieve the results and then push them into, say, the Notes section on the Pure tethered to the computer.

Just a thought…

4 Likes

Thank you for this information.

2 Likes

Interesting idea @kirkmahoneyphd. i wasn’t able to find the github repo you are referring to to take a look.

1 Like

@urszula, could you please tell @Michael_Kurrels how he can apply to get access to Mudita’s GitHub repository?

I have applied. I have lots of software-development experience, but I don’t have enough experience with repositories to qualify for access, and that’s okay! I don’t recall where to send Michael to apply for access.

Thank you, @urszula!

1 Like

@kirkmahoneyphd Sure! I will have one of our team members contact him directly. @Wojciech_Cichon are you able to help @Michael_Kurrels out?

1 Like

Hi @Michael_Kurrels
If you’re interested in applying for the MuditaOS dev preview and receive an invitation, please fill in this Typeform.
We haven’t open-source Mudita Center yet, so for the time being you’ll be only see the MuditaOS code and contribute to it.

I hope this helps.
Wojtek

2 Likes