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LBS & tourism through the eyes of a postgrad marketing student in New Zealand.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

‘George Square’ collaborative tourism system

Via pasta and vinegar: Sharing the square: collaborative leisure in the city streets by Barry Brown, Matthew Chalmers, Marek Bell, Ian MacColl, Malcolm Hall, Paul Rudman, To appear in Proc. Euro. Conf. Computer Supported Collaborative Work (ECSCW) 2005, Paris.
[Abstract] Sharing events with others is an important part of many enjoyable experiences. While most existing co-presence systems focus on work tasks, in this paper we describe a lightweight mobile system designed for sharing leisure. This system allows city visitors to share their experiences with others both far and near, through tablet computers that share photographs, voice and location. A collaborative filtering algorithm uses historical data of previous visits to recommend photos, web pages and places to visitors, bringing together online media with the city’s streets. In an extensive user trial we explored how these resources were used to collaborate around physical places. The trial demonstrates the value of technological support for sociability - enjoyable shared social experiences. We also discuss support for collaborative photography and the role history can play in collaborative systems.
This is going straight into my literature review chapter! It's great how it stresses the importance of user collaboration for these types of location-based tourism systems - also see Russell Buckley's related post, 'A Manifesto for Taking Wikipedia into the Physical World' (another way to implement location-based POI info).

Instead of having several competing companies spend millions on building up proprietary spatial information databases, if someone set up a way for everyone to add location information to a database which is relatively easy to access on mobile devices, it would be infinitely cheaper and quicker to assemble the content. Metadata, tagging and search is definitely the way of the future in terms of making sense of the massive deluge of data we are inundated with daily; hopefully this will come through in the next-generation operating systems for both PCs and mobiles. It's 'the power of the mobile many' in action, and fits in well with the 'connected & empowered consumer' concept, too. Is an 'open-source' type of model the key to mass-market adoption of LBS? Perhaps...

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