Location Based Services & Human Behaviour

Raper et al. (2007) A critical evaluation of location based services and their potential

Raper et al. (2007) give an excellent overview of the technologies used by LBS. Most if not all of the sensor technologies underpinning the GIScience topics we have discussed in GEOG 506 were covered in this article. Raper et al. (2007) recognize that there are two domains in LBS: (1) user-related, and (2) technological – however, it is clear the latter is the major focus of LBS research.

Raper et al. (2007) list numerous examples of how users interact with LBS e.g user-friendliness, user-input, and user acceptance, however, the alteration of human behaviour seems to be major literature gap in the domain of LBS. This includes but can extend beyond the realm of legality and ethics. The effects of LBS on society may not be observable on an individual level, but I suspect there will be significant generational changes. Younger generations are expert micro-planners; we have become maximizers of our time. Instead of allotting say, 25 minutes to get to school, we can trim that down 17 minutes and 30 seconds (on average) taking into consideration daily weather, traffic conditions, different routes, and transportation schedules. In the future, this could be combined with unique user data to include average walking speed or stage of morning routine (based on regular weekday behaviours) in order to provide down-to-the-second departure time. Real-time LBS-equipped transportation will certainly have a massive impact on commuter behaviour in cities.

I hope the Journal of Location Based Services will become an accepted platform for these discussions too. It is crucial that the developers of LBS technologies are exposed to the ways their creations take on new function, meaning, and forms—both positive and negative— following their adoption by consumers.

It is my unfortunate duty to diagnose this article with acronymia – a scholarly disease that plagues esoteric fields such as GIScience and its numerous subfields. Prognosis includes: loss of readability, confusion, misunderstanding, and death. Acronymia is a disease with global distribution on the verge of becoming an epidemic. The primary vector of this disease is the journal article, although textbooks, tweets, and conference proceedings are known transmitters. There is no known cure for acronymia.



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