Generating Map Action Responses in SUSI AI

SUSI AI responds to location related user queries with a Map action response. The different types of responses are referred to as actions which tell the client how to render the answer. One such action type is the Map action type. The map action contains latitude, longitude and zoom values telling the client to correspondingly render a map with the given location.

Let us visit SUSI Web Chat and try it out.

Query: Where is London

Response: (API Response)

The API Response actions contain text describing the specified location, an anchor with text ‘Here is a map` linked to openstreetmaps and a map with the location coordinates.

Let us look at how this is implemented on server.

For location related queries, the key where is used as an identifier. Once the query is matched with this key, a regular expression `where is (?:(?:a )*)(.*)` is used to parse the location name.

"keys"   : ["where"],
"phrases": [
  {"type":"regex", "expression":"where is (?:(?:a )*)(.*)"},

The parsed location name is stored in $1$ and is used to make API calls to fetch information about the place and its location. Console process is used to fetch required data from an API.

"process": [
    "expression":"SELECT location[0] AS lon, location[1] AS lat FROM locations WHERE query='$1$';"},
    "expression":"SELECT object AS locationInfo FROM location-info WHERE query='$1$';"}

Here, we need to make two API calls :

  • For getting information about the place
  • For getting the location coordinates

First let us look at how a Console Process works. In a console process we provide the URL needed to fetch data from, the query parameter needed to be passed to the URL and the path to look for the answer in the API response.

  • url = <url>   – the url to the remote json service which will be used to retrieve information. It must contain a $query$ string.
  • test = <parameter> – the parameter that will replace the $query$ string inside the given url. It is required to test the service.

For getting the information about the place, we used Wikipedia API. We name this console process as location-info and added the required attributes to run it and fetch data from the API.

"location-info": {
  "license":"Copyright by Wikipedia,"

The attributes used are :

  • url : The Media WIKI API endpoint
  • test : The Location name which will be appended to the url before making the API call.
  • parser : Specifies the response type for parsing the answer
  • path : Points to the location in the response where the required answer is present

The API endpoint called is of the following format :

For the query where is london, the API call made returns

  ["London  is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom."],

The path $.[2] points to the third element of the array i.e “London  is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom.” which is stored in $locationInfo$.

Similarly to get the location coordinates, another API call is made to loklak API.

"locations": {
  "license":"Copyright by GeoNames"

The location coordinates are found in $.data.location in the API response. The location coordinates are stored as latitude and longitude in $lat$ and $lon$ respectively.

Finally we have description about the location and its coordinates, so we create the actions to be put in the server response.

The first action is of type answer and the text to be displayed is given by $locationInfo$ where the data from wikipedia API response is stored.


The second action is of type anchor. The text to be displayed is `Here is a map` and it must be hyperlinked to openstreetmaps with the obtained $lat$ and $lon$.

  "text":"Here is a map"

The last action is of type map which is populated for latitude and longitude using $lat$ and $lon$ respectively and the zoom value is specified to be 13.


Final output from the server will now contain the three actions with the required data obtained from the respective API calls made. For the sample query `where is london` , the actions will look like :

"actions": [
    "type": "answer",
    "language": "en",
    "expression": "London  is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom."
    "type": "anchor",
    "link":   "",
    "text": "Here is a map",
    "language": "en"
    "type": "map",
    "latitude": "51.51279067225417",
    "longitude": "-0.09184009399817228",
    "zoom": "13",
    "language": "en"

This is how the map action responses are generated for location related queries. The complete code can be found at SUSI AI Server Repository.


Generating Map Action Responses in SUSI AI

Loklak Tweets – Tweets and much much more !

The last update when the tweets functionality was implemented, it was able to post a regular tweet from the loklak webclient application. The tweets functionality has undergone massive changes and multiple code refactor so that there are more features along with the usual features implemented by Twitter, them being

  1. The ability to post a map as an attachment to the tweet.
  2. The ability to post large text attachment 0r markdown to twitter.

Once the user is loggedin, the user can click on the tweet functionality where he’d be provided with a lot of options, post a regular tweet, a tweet with an attached image, a tweet with map attachment or a tweet with markdown.


Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 7.27.04 pm

Ability to compose new tweets with map attachments

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 7.28.22 pm

Ability to write markdown code as attachment to the tweets.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 7.28.30 pm

Live view of the markdown text rendered on the screen so that the user can see the large text content he/she is attaching as markdown text to twitter.

The use can also post their location via loklak to twitter similar to how twitter uses the geolocation service, the navigator request takes the coordinates and reverse looks up the database so that the location name and the nearby areas can be retrieved.

Large text tweet with markdown content

Map attachment tweets

Image upload tweet

All the tweets that are posted over here are cross posted to loklak to make it easier for the server to harvest the tweets, We’ve moved to from after a lot of testing to make sure that the application performs well under heavy load. We have collected more than 42 million tweets so far on the main server.

Loklak Tweets – Tweets and much much more !