BBC – The Beauty of Maps
Just couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about The Art of Geographic Data. It seems that BBC thought about it before me and made whole TV series about related topic…
I found couple of episodes of the series on You Tube:
Location Based Services – a little bit of theory
|Fig.1. Location Based Services|
In this post I’m summing up a little bit of theory about Location Based Services (LBS) that I will use for my further academic research. In some papers, books and blog posts it is possible to see different terms interchangeably used to describe the same service: location-aware services, location-related services or location services. Nonetheless the term Location Based Services has been already used and acclaimed by most scientific and professional communities.
Location based services – definitions.
Although LBS is a fairly new domain of science one can find several definitions:
“LBSs are information services accessible with mobile devices through the mobile network and utilizing the ability to make use of the location of the mobile device.” 
“Location-based Services are IT services for providing information that has been created, compiled, selected, or filtered taking into consideration the current locations of the users or those of other persons or mobile objects.”
| Fig.2. LBS as an intersection of technologies
Almost all LBSs are based on components present on the figure 3. All of them create LBS infrastructure and parameters of each of them are crucial for the service to work. Those components are: Service and Content Provider, Mobile Device, Positioning Systems, and Communication Network.
These are all non-stationary devices that are tools for the user to request the needed information. For example mobile phones, smartphones, PDAs, tablets, laptops. Those devices can have build-in or external positioning module (e.g. GPS antena).
Positioning of the user is of course the heart of LBS. The user position can be obtained in several ways. The most common two of them are GPS with a several meters accuracy and the mobile communication network which uses one or more cell towers to determine the position of devices with several hundred meters accuracy. The other possibility is to use the position are WLAN stations – there are companies specialized in capturing information about wi-fi location and using it for positioning. This option is possible only in the cities because of need of high network density but it can give surprisingly good accuracy of several dozen meters. Other topic is indoor navigation which can use as well wi-fi or Bluetooth for determining position inside buildings.
2. Axel Kupper – “Location-based Services: Fundamentals and Operation”, 2005, John Wiley & Sons Ltd,