December 5, 2002 – Members of the Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) have publicly demonstrated a set of prototype interfaces and schemas that support Location Based Services (LBS) interoperability. The goal of OGC’s OpenLS(TM) (Open Location Services) Testbed initiative is to enable telecommunications companies and LBS providers to efficiently implement nteroperable LBS applications that can seamlessly access multiple content repositories and service frameworks and that work across the world’s many different wireless networks and devices. Location-Based Services employ real-time positioning technologies and networked resources to enable a wide variety of applications. These include emergency response, personal navigator, traffic information service, proximity service, location recall, mobile field service, travel directions, restaurant finder, corporate asset locator, concierge, routing, vector map portrayal and interaction, friend finder, and voice directions.
The demonstration, held at IIR’s November 18, 2002 “GIS inTelecoms” conference in Nice, France, marked the successful completion of phase 1 of OpenLS. Draft Interface Specifications based on the prototype interfaces and schemas developed in the OpenLS initiative will now be reviewed in the OGC Specification Program. The interfaces will be refined and then approved for global public release as adopted OpenGIS(R) Implementation Specifications.
The tremendous social value and commercial opportunity offered by LBS will depend on communication of location (and time), route, types of service, etc. across diverse technology platforms, application domains, classes of products, carrier networks and national regions. Users will expect, for example, continuity of location services when a cell phone “roams” from one carrier’s network to another’s. The OpenLS-1 team of experts is drafting from their prototypes a set of specifications for publicly available shared interfaces and schemas that enable such interoperability. The specifications will also comprise a “cookbook” for rapid development of LBS offerings.
The demonstration in Nice showed:
- Integration with mobile terminals, wireless platforms, and IP platforms
- Directory (sometimes called “yellow pages”) search and display with spatial parameters in requests and responses
- Route determination and display based on two or more points entered as place names, street addresses, or longitude/latitude coordinates
- Finding coordinates from street addresses (geocoding) and street addresses from coordinates (reverse geocoding)
- Displaying maps on devices with different display characteristics
- User interaction with map features through mobile client and remote server
- Voice-activated direction service and friend finder