LBS and User-Centric Design

Location-based services (LBS) have already been widely utilized in daily life. By this means, users become both geospatial data providers and the information consumers. In the paper of Jiang et al. 2006, authors point out the LBS should be designed in a user-centric way. As LBS is a developing research field that includes the study of geospatial cyberinfrastructure, information technology, social theories, and data mining, we should take a careful look at the user-centric design in order to improve LBS.

Mobile technologies have contributed a lot geospatial data for LBS. With the development of wireless network, geospatial data, including image data, test message, voice data, and spectral information that are collected with different mobile sensors, can be easily shared over the Internet. But the large data volume becomes another challenge in LBS research; especially of user-centric design. First, not all the data contributed by user are equally useful for knowledge discovery and decision-making. So data mining techniques are necessary and it should also be supported by the geospatial cyberinfrastructure which is not directly visible for end users. Secondly, due to the large scale data and their temporal attributed, real-time computing are usually utilized to guarantee the performance of LBS is satisfying. Moreover, the limited resource of mobile devices require geospatial cyberinfrastructure at the backend to provide functionalities such as data storage, statistical analysis, visualization, to name a few examples here. All those functionalities should be kept transparent to the users, which further complicated the user-centric design research in LBS.

Another point I want to indicate here is the lack of standard criteria for evaluating LBS. As new technologies bring pervasive computing concepts in LBS, how to measure and evaluate the performance of LBS systems are great challenges in the future study.



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