The Development of Location Based Services in Malaysia
The RAD methodology used in this project can be broken down into four lifecycle processes, that is Requirements Planning, User Design, Construction and System Implementation. All these processes is repeated until all functionality is completed. This cycle really shows the importance of prototyping, as the development starts from the basic prototype until it can be considered as a final product. It also shows the need of user involvements, throughout the phases of the methodology. The transformation from basic requirement into a detail specification can be seen, as user tends to see their needs in detail description. After looking at the prototype. Here are some activities done during the RAD processes.
3.1 Requirements Planning
Location Based Services are subjected to a set of specific requirement. Although LBS requirements are bind together with other disciplines such as mobile commerce requirements, there are a few issues that need to be address to cover the basic LBS requirement needs. We focuses on gathering the functionality and non-functionality requirements, until we then realize that there is no clear cut between this two categories. Some requirements tend to fit both categories, as requrement can be chained or made into more complex needs in the future. So , we chose to use a different category to categorize the LBS requirement. They are:-
- User Requirements :- Where most of the functional requirement suits in. User requirements are formed on mobile user acceptance on LBS. A survey was conducted to analyze current user trends, needs and perception regarding LBS. Through this, some of the main requirements that were identified are:-
Usability Requirements :- Describe the requirement regarding mobile computing environment. Normally, issues involving bandwidth, computing power and memory size cannot be expected to be constant, as there are times where mobile network or terminal might be unstable. Some of the implied requirements are:-
- Map Browsing capabilities
- Navigation guide for the users to let them acquire directions and guidance
- Services must be accessed regarding user current location
- Personalized access for the user so that they can customized their information need
Reliability Requirements :- Concerning on data reliability, software reliability to both servers and client side, appropriateness and precision of methods used to provide services.
Privacy Requirements:- privacy handling consolidate issues like ownership of location information, use of location information, disclosure to service providers and others.
Location Infrastructure Requirements:- Deals with issues pertaining location positioning method. The method used in an LBS should :-
- Not very intensive use of mobile network and low data transmission
- User interface should be user friendly and the amount of presented information content limited and well specified
- Possibilities for offline access to the LBS
Service Interoperability Requirements:- Interoperability should be implemented at all levels, to make sure that an LBS can be fully utilized by the public users. LBS should be interoperable with different mobile terminals, servers, coordinate convensions, positioning technology and others.
3.2 User Design
- Provide good accuracy of current user location
- Wide coverage of location determination signals
- Method used should be fast
- Interoperability between vendors
- Ensuring customer privacy
The development of an LBS involves component based environment as the core technology relies on web services. A comprehensive and crucial modeling is the first crucial step towards building a successful application. To manage large application, model based design and development is paramount. Incorporating RAD with the industry standards modeling techniques and notations used in Unified Modeling Language (UML) delivers several advantages  :-
Use case Diagram serves to display the relationship between actors and the use cases in the system. Use case diagram are designed to give a rough, informal overview of the possible classes of users and the services and functionalities the system provides .It is the basic technique to elaborate all the requirements identified in the initial stage. UML also provides different diagram modeling approaches, such as Sequence Diagram, Collaboration Diagram, Statechart Diagram and more which will be used in more detailed and advance design.
- Provides an overview of the application structure
- Facilitate the reuse of objects and rules
- Ensure consistency during development
- Functions independently of implementation, so when changes occur, the model remains valid
The Web Service technique provides the interoperable capability of cross platform and cross language in distributed net environment. GIS services will be implemented more extensively by using web service approach. NSDI lets users share data stores and applications in a distributed environment. The web services architecture establishes a standard interconnection rules between services and information clients that nicely support the dynamic integration of data, which is the key to creating a spatial data infrastructure . On top of LBS is the presentation tier, which let users access the LBS through their mobile phones. LBS should provide multiple platform access such as WAP, SMS or J2ME software to reach as many users as it can. In a web service environment, the LBS will receives and sends response to the client in an XML formatted document through SOAP . The XML document will then be transformed into WMS or OpenLS presentation format, through Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT). On the LBS itself, OpenLS specifies five core services, as mention above. These services provide different functionality with the summarization done by the presentation to the client. The data from NSDI will be integrated with a loose web service component. The service called catalogue service will access all the data inside NSDI without having to modify or upgrade current NSDI implementation. Normally, Clearinghouse works with z39.50 protocol, a standard for Information Retrieval. With the advent of technology, binary data from z39.50 can be encoded into SOAP in a web service environment.
FIGURE 3 LBS WITH OLAP INTEGRATION
Implementing LBS platform may open a lot of opportunities and can be beneficial to the public. The openness of an LBS architecture through standard technologies have made it possible to provide user with a standard data under one system. Creating location awareness to the public may help them to increase their decision making capabilities, thus help them to face unexpected situations. By integrating LBS with NSDI, a lot of possible applications can be generated for the use of public and in the E-Government environment.
I wish to thank god, my supervisors Sri Devi Ravana and Maizatul Akmar Ismail for their endless support an encouragement. I also would like to express my gratitude to ASIA GIS 2006 International Conference committee, for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
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