Location based services : developing mobile GIS applications
Thesis (MSc (Geography and Environmental Studies))--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.
The substantial growth of the Internet during the past few years has sparked the adaptation of several fields of current technologies to its demanding and cutting-edge standards. Mobile wireless cellular engineering and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are two such technologies. Integrating these two technologies has resulted in the possibility of providing a type of useful functionality in the form of a technological service to the public in terms of their geographical location, named Location Based Services (LBS). An LBS can be defined as any service or application that extends spatial information processing or GIS capabilities to end users via the Internet and/or wireless networks. Thanks to wireless cellular engineering, GIS, computer programming and a little intellectual ingenuity, LBS now has the ability to provide a solution to the persisting problem of the intractable incapability of prevalent technology to extend utile spatial information to a user in terms of his/her geographical location. The purpose of this study is to investigate how geographical information, derived from GIS processing, can be supplied and presented in a useful manner to users' mobile electronic devices, using today’s available technology. A sample LBS application will demonstrate how this is achieved in the South African context. It includes features such as position location, street finding, shortest street route calculation, and map display, all on a mobile cellular device. Relevant issues such as impending wireless cellular technology, development cycles, implementation, costs, revenues and shortcomings are also discussed.