Map-Based LBSs for Hiking: A Review of Requirements, Existing Solutions, and Future Trends

Map-Based LBSs for Hiking: A Review of Requirements, Existing Solutions, and Future Trends

Tapani Sarjakoski (Finnish Geodetic Institute, Finland), Janne Kovanen (Finnish Geodetic Institute, Finland) and L. Tiina Sarjakoski (Finnish Geodetic Institute, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1827-5.ch011
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Abstract

In a map-based location-based service, a map on a mobile device is used to visualize and communicate spatial information to the user. The objective of this chapter is to provide a review of map-based LBSs that are especially directed to outdoor activities such as hiking. Hikers as users have special information needs and requirements, which, as in any development, should provide the starting point and the goal for the LBS. The authors list the requirements and solutions such a service must address and discuss the implications of using maps for the application development. They discuss the essential components, functionality, and architectural solutions of an LBS for hiking, and describe the functionality needed for wayfinding and navigation support. Finally, the authors portray the emerging trends, such as ubiquity, adaptivity, and personal cloud solutions, that will motivate future research.
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Background

Location-Based Services (LBSs) represent a logical follow-up to several enabling information technologies, the cornerstones being the Internet, mobile communication technology, positioning technology, and geospatial information technology. Several attempts have been made to define an LBS. The Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. (2008) defines an LBS as “a wireless-IP service that uses geographic information to serve a mobile user or any application service that exploits the position of a mobile terminal” (p. 4). According to Brimicombe and Li (2009), LBSs can be defined as the “delivery of data and information services where the content of those services is customized to the current or some projected location and context of the user” (p. 2). Wikipedia (2011) defines an LBS as “an information or entertainment service, accessible with mobile devices through the mobile network and utilizing the ability to make use of the geographical position of the mobile device.” An LBS may be quite advanced (using complex information systems in the background) or relatively simple, but both would fit the definition of an LBS. Nevertheless, the ability to utilize the user’s position should always be a central building block for any LBS. When an LBS also delivers network-based maps to the users’ devices, it is called a map-based service (Sarjakoski & Sarjakoski 2007). In this chapter, we focus on map-based LBSs for hiking. In our approach, the role of a map is presumed to be an important part of the system, and the visual map is available for a user on a mobile device’s display.

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