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 Location-Based Services Specialist Meeting

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Specialist Meeting on Location-Based Services
December 14-15 , 2001
Final Report, HTML Version

The Global Positioning System and cellular technologies are enabling a new generation of electronic devices that know where they are, and are capable of modifying the information they collect and present based on that knowledge. The Wireless Communication and Public Safety Act of 1999 permits operators of cellular networks to release the geographic locations of users in certain emergency situations, and a range of electronic services are now being developed and offered to assist users in finding nearby businesses and other facilities. A location-based service (LBS) could be defined as an information service that exploits the ability of technology to know where it is, and to modify the information it presents accordingly. The Open GIS Consortium has begun a number of initiatives related to technical specifications for LBS.

The NSF-funded Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science and the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science propose to hold a specialist meeting to explore these new services, and their implications and significance for the social sciences and for geographic information science.

Specific issues to be addressed include:

  • the use of LBS to support primary data capture in the social sciences, with emphasis on spatial and temporal components

  • requirements for new representations, and for analytic tools to visualize and investigate such data

  • privacy and related issues associated with LBS data

  • new forms of social behavior enabled by LBS

  • new technologies that extend current concepts of LBS

  • needs for learning materials, examples, and other resources that could help to facilitate social science research related to LBS

  • the use of LBS-derived data for modeling in the social sciences

The specialist meeting was held December 14-15, 2001 at the Upham Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA, and followed the format of previous specialist meetings organized by CSISS and by the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis.


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