LBS is a major area which has got developers and businesses energized. Its range is unfathomed and its
technology is progressing rapidly. It has carved a niche out for its self in the field of wireless communication
and messaging, giving an impetus to the demand of rich GIS data and leading way to refined and sophisticated
mapping solutions and further making people come together for services, not only for commercial benefits
but to assist humanity as a whole. Modern man is eager and enthusiastic to lay his hold on this new domain.
What then, are the ingredients needed to fuel this desire of man? How can he make it possible using
the latest techniques? Are all the ingredients vital for this desire to be given a concrete shape? This paper
makes an attempt to answer these questions by putting together the ingredients needed for Location Based
Service and also pondering whether all the ingredients are needed at all times to enable LBS.
Information services have evolved rapidly over the years and adding a new dimension to this is knowing
where a person or an object is located. The union of GIS, Internet, wireless communication, location
finding techniques and mobile devices have given rise to the exciting Location based services making a
major impact on the way navigation is done and businesses are conducted. The evolution has just began and
throws open many opportunities for technologies and businesses to take advantage of it.
Trying to find out location has been of prime importance to man who adopted various methods to
accomplish it. Man has used stars, landmarks and verbal queries since ancient times to find out his location.
The middle ages had man using compass and maps to find his location. With advent and growth of
technology the need was felt was more sophisticated devices to find location and in a natural flow of
sequences man started thinking of ways to use this location finding techniques for his commercial and social
What is LBS?
We could begin by getting a feel of what is Location Based Service or LBS. It is the capability to find the
geographical location of the mobile device and then provide services based on this location information.
This would mean a person asking for information about the nearest ATM outlet based on his location in the
city, which is within his reach. Thus we could say that Location based services deliver geographic information
between mobile and/or static users via the Internet and/or wireless network.
This seems rather an exciting prospect, which could generate mass enthusiasm and could appeal to
many prospective users and developers. LBS promises to facilitate the delivery of spatial data along with
providing routing and direction-finding information. According to a poll by Integrated Data
Communications, Inc. (IDC), two-thirds of Americans want wireless location-based services, with safety
and security issues (emergency call, roadside assistance, and driving directions) as the primary reasons for
wanting location-based services. Prospective users are even ready to pay premium or even accept advertising
on their devices for the services.
The applications of LBS could be varied and innovating. Services that exploit the users location
could be wide spread in the years to come. The service providers could move or have moved into areas like
providing services incase of emergencies, route finding and many more limited only by mans imagination.
There are definitely challenges for this market, which include figuring out what applications to
develop, how to generate revenue from the applications, overcoming consumer acceptance hurdles and
how to protect user privacy. Nonetheless the concern of this paper is not to indulge in the future of these
applications but discover the technical aspects to LBS.
The impetus to Location Based Services was given by the Federal Communications Commission of US
) ruling, which required the network operators to provide emergency services by locating the
user of the mobile device within 125 meters. It required wireless network operators to supply public
emergency services with the callerís location and callback phone number. This hastened the emergence of
new and dynamic field called LBS, where the service was based on the geographical location of the calling
device. Further, the developments in the field of Positioning Systems, Communications and GIS, fueled the
imagination of the industry people with regards to the LBS. This
ability to provide the user a customized service depending upon his
geographical location could be used by telecommunication companies
to restaurant owners.
A successful LBS technology must meet the position accuracy requirements determined by the respective service, at the lowest possible cost and with minimal impact on network and the equipment. The obvious technology needed in providing LBS is getting to know the location or the position, the geographic data of that location and an application to process the position information along with the geographic data to provide Location Based Service. So we could consider the ingredients needed for LBS as
Location or Positioning
- Location or positioning
- Geographic data
- Control Center
- Communication System
One of the most obvious and important ingredients behind LBS is positioning recognized system).
There are various means of determining positioning.
- Network Based Positioning
Manual methods have been in use to rely the location of the user like the emergency response services such as E-911 centers or American Automobile Associationís (AAA) roadside assistance service. These services were and are used by drivers to seek services like roadside assistance, navigation and routing after explicitly conveying the location.
With the convergence of wireless communications and the Internet, the term location services has taken on a new meaning and has captured our attention as the next big technology advancement that will impact our lives, even more than the wired Internet has. This emerging industry will bring wireless location services to market.
Network Based positioning
Finding the location of a mobile device in relation to its cell site is another way to find out the location of an object or a person. Various methods are adopted to determine the location of the mobile user.
Network based positioning relies on various means of triangulation of the signal from cell sites serving a mobile phone.
The geographical position of the device is found out through various techniques like
- Cell of Origin
- Time of Arrival
- Angle of Arrival
- Enhanced Observed Time Difference
- Assisted GPS