Location Based Services

In his article “A critical evaluation of Location Based Services (LBS) and their potential” discusses the opportunities and challenges associated with LBS.

The article provided a detailed overview of the technical implications of LBS, but I felt that the discussion was a bit thin when it came to describing the social, political, cultural and economic implications of LBS. This is likely a reflection of the paucity of research rather than a deliberate oversight. Nevertheless such issues deserve greater consideration within the field of GIScience research as they echo some of the themes present  in other GIScience topics (e.g. VGI, PPGIS, Ontology, Metadata). Concerns of privacy, interoperability, passive or active release of personal geographic information, as well as understanding of place and space are only some of the issues that deserve greater attention.

LBS have the potential to alter how we engage with the the environment and people. They can be leveraged to increase the efficiency of our day to day life, but they also forever alter how we perceive, understand and navigate through our surroundings.While the ‘cool’ factor of this technology encourages wide spread adoption and approval of LBS, I think social discussion about its implications is warranted.



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