Home Articles Developing a Location-Aware Tourist Guide using GIS

Developing a Location-Aware Tourist Guide using GIS


Bo Huang and Sook Yee Loh
Department of Civil Engineering, National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
Tel: (65)6874-2158 Fax: (65)6779-1635
Email: [email protected]

The trend in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is to make it the basis of providing useful location based information to end-users, rather than to only GIS experts. One novel way of achieving this is to combine GIS with a mobile computer equipped with a Global Position System (GPS) device which can give the location of the user. This location can be used to provide more relevant information to users from the GIS.

This research aims to design and implement a location-aware tourist guide prototype for visitors with the aid of mobile GIS. In contrast to traditional paper map with static graphic display, the digital tourist guide is intended to offer a personalized user-interface and location-specific service to the end-users. Customization using GIS applications is accomplished in Personal Computer (PC) before the essential data files are transferred to Personal Digital Assistance (PDA) to carry out field trials. With the aid of Global Positioning System (GPS) on site, the system device has the ability to detect user’s current location at a specific interval and a list of nearby attractions is furnished to the user through a customized VBScript-based interactive graphical user interface. The users can retrieve the comprehensive information of buildings, descriptively displayed in text format, and photo image of the buildings, illustrated by the color display. In order to speed up the searching of a number of surrounding buildings, an indexing method based on route segmentation has also been developed. Experimental results show that this indexing method has significantly improved the performance of the prototype.