Location Based Services

Steinfield’s article on the development of LBS is a nice summation of the technology used, potential applications, and a few of the issues that arise out of LBS services such as privacy. Reoccurring themes that we’ve seen relating to GISci issues definitely include privacy and ethical issues. It’s interesting that a regulation created as a safety mechanism as been exploited for commercial services and now breaches our level of comfort in relaying this kind of information whether intentional or not. To bring it back into the realm of GISci, LBS touches upon topics such as accurate georeferencing, data modeling, and data capturing. While the user’s location is now bought into the forefront, which determines what information is ‘pushed’ or ‘pulled’ to the user, a high degree of accuracy is required of the user’s location and also data being presented to the user. In a navigational system, having the details be a few meters off, or delayed makes the system as unreliable. Similar to AR, LBS is also in real time, requiring dynamic data models that can continually push/pull information specific to the user’s location. This is nontraditional of traditional data models where the user’s physical position did not effect what information was presented in front of them. Another challenge that these types of applications face has to face is collecting, and processing information multiple data sources – though perhaps technical innovation has more or less solved these issues. But how do these systems deal with the massive volumes of GI data and determine which ones should be displayed? LBS and AR is certainly pushing traditional new ways of data modeling and capture.


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