Indonesian University Student Sent to San Diego to Showcase Tourism App

Indonesia ASEAN

At American geographic information systems software developer Esri’s annual User’s Conference in San Diego, a younger user from across the Pacific was sent to showcase her award-winning application.

Brigitta Maria Ledha, a student from Gadjah Mada University’s Geodetic Engineering Faculty, attended the conference as Indonesia’s 2018 Esri Young Scholars Award winner. There she was able to engage with other geographic information systems (GIS) users and present her award-winning app in front of 15,000 attendees from over 150 countries.

The app she developed is a smart travel app that surveys the user’s travel preferences before developing a dynamic travel guide that suggests activities in real time as the tourist moves through the city. Currently the app is only supported for the Indonesian city of Jogjakarta.

The name of the app, LUNGO! Jogja, is a double meaning; in Javanese, “lungo” means to go, but the name also serves as an acronym for the phrase “Let Us kNow, you GO”, highlighting the app’s unique personalization feature. Ms. Ledha says the inspiration for her project came from her family’s frequent visits to Jogjakarta. After receiving mixed reactions between different family members for each tourist activity she suggested, she realized that different people have different preferences when traveling, and thus sought to develop an app that could tailor itself to fit the needs of individual travelers.

Esri is the premier GIS software developer in the world, and its global presence includes 22 offices in 15 Asia Pacific countries. Headquartered in Redlands, California, the company hosts an annual User’s Conference in San Diego where users from around the world present their use of GIS in their respective industries. The Esri Young Scholars Award, launched in 2012, recognizes exceptional undergraduate and graduate GIS work and invites winners to attend the conference. This year, Ms. Ledha was Esri Indonesia’s representative.

The strong educational the United States shares with Indonesia is exemplified in Ms. Ledha’s story. In 2016, over 8,700 Indonesian students studied at American universities, while 597 Americans studied abroad in Indonesia. LUNGO! Jogja’s potential utility for American tourists is significant; 269,000 Americans visited Indonesia in 2016.

Joseph Meisburger is a research intern at the East-West Center in Washington. He is currently a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Arizona, studying Geography and Urban & Regional Development.

[Image: Universitas Gadjah Mada]