A Natural Language Spatial Search Engine for Rental Places

Rento is a new free web service that makes it easy to find a place to rent in Greece. To meet this end it provides ad listings with photographs for all places and at the same time displays available accommodation on a map. Searching is accomplished through map navigation and natural language processing, with the search engine being capable of answering complex (spatial) questions such as "flat near the University of Athens" or "loft up to 800 euros near a metro station" (in greek).

For our database backend technology we chose PostgreSQL for its matureness, robustness, open source nature, expandability, spatial capabilities, and performance. Along with the PostGIS plugin, which seemed the natural choice due to its deep integration with PostgreSQL, ease of use and available documentation, Rento is able to provide a cutting edge service with no technical hiccups at all, serving hundreds of requests per minute. All these plus being cost effective is a killer combination.

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