What are Location-Based Services?

Location-based services provide content that is dynamically customized according to the user's location. These services are commonly delivered to mobile devices, but can also be accessed from other portable computers, handhelds, or any Internet-capable device. Current common applications for location-based services include advertising, news, social networking, and similar services. An increasing number of mobile applications are taking advantage of the built-in geolocation capability that is increasingly a standard feature in mobile devices. Information about nearby buildings, landmarks, or other fixed features is commonplace; a growing use of location-based services is to locate people nearby — people known or unknown to the user — who share interests or experiences in common. Educational applications for location-based services are currently along the same lines, delivering relevant place-based information and allowing easy geotagging of captured data. Media such as photos and video, as well as the simplicity of geotagging, will be important aspects of location-based services as they continue to develop.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the museums you know best?

  • - nik.honeysett nik.honeysett Aug 25, 2011 Not just significant to any museum that has a geographically dispersed collection, but even at the granular level of providing proximity-based content and information within a gallery.
  • - sheila.carey sheila.carey Aug 26, 2011 I see it as being quite useful for historic sites and living history sites.
  • Museums in a similar geographic area could engage in joint projects that cross their collections to make exciting art tours and activities.- rkvaron rkvaron Aug 30, 2011
  • Tying the museum's collection to its geographic location is important to communicating its significance in the community, especially for historic and community-based museums.- rkvaron rkvaron Aug 30, 2011

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • - nik.honeysett nik.honeysett Aug 25, 2011 As with other topics, its hard not to discuss this technology without also linking in some of the other techs on the list: AR, game-based learning.
  • - sheila.carey sheila.carey Aug 26, 2011 I agree with Nik. I think location-based services can be really useful for location based historic interpretation, but it's hard to separate it from AR when you think of how you might deliver the content, and from game-based learning when you consider potential activities.
  • photo and video is a great way to croudsource with the audience.- rkvaron rkvaron Aug 30, 2011

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

  • - sheila.carey sheila.carey Aug 26, 2011 It has great potential impact in delivering content based upon the user's location. Historic sites, like battlefields, may require a visitor to use a lot of imagination, but delivering historic content can make a site come alive to the user. (I'm focussing more on historic sites for this technology because of the emphasis on 'location'.)
  • Brings context and space to a work of art or an object.- rkvaron rkvaron Aug 30, 2011

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • - sheila.carey sheila.carey Aug 26, 2011 I think it's great that Historypin has created mobile apps. Although this isn't technically 'alerting' the visitor to customized content, they can draw up historic images based on their location. This app also provides an example of the connection between AR and this technology. http://www.historypin.com
  • SCVNGR has many museums that create tours.- rkvaron rkvaron Aug 30, 2011

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