V3 TELETECH, which develops geographical information and location determination technologies, is collaborating with tourism-related publishing and events company Aboutwe Publishing, Fujitsu Asia and MobileOne to introduce a location-based service called the Mobile-Assisted Guide (MAG). MAG offers a novel way of exploring Singapore’s nature and heritage in the form of PDATours, which provide tour details and information as well as services such as trip planners and personalised user tour preferences.
PDATours is being developed under the Call for Collaboration (CFC) initiative for location-based services, as part of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)’s Wired With Wireless programme. V3’s Web Services LBS Map Platform (V3Nity) enables access to the latest Singapore maps on the company’s centralised servers through the use of highly flexible application programming interfaces via web access, said general manager Adrian Long. The maps are provided by the Singapore Land Authority. The company also provides GIS services to customise and add extra map -information needed on top of the layers of maps from SLA, for example, the 25 trails for the MAG and PDATours.
“As part of the consortium, V3 is also involved in the multimedia design for both the front-end web-based user interface and PDA interactive walking trails menu,” said Long.
With a PDA (personal digital assistant) from PDATours, a user, for example a tourist, can sign in and activate a selected tour. Once the GPS (global positioning system) locator in the PDA is activated, it will periodically scan for the tourist’s position. The tourist uses the PDA like a personalised tour guide, and the system will automatically alert the tourist on points of interest. By using GPRS (general packet radio service), the tourist can download the location map, pictures, information and even relevant local myths and stories. The tourist can also jot down personal remarks onto the PDA and at the end of the trip, retrieve his remarks by logging on to the PDATours portal. PDATours cover nature and heritage sites such as the fortress at Labrador Park, Botanic Gardens, Pasir Ris Park and Pulau Ubin. PDATours can also be used for school bio-science field trips or historical heritage lessons. The GPS in PDATours tracks the student’s exact location and matches it with related facts or myth around that location. Games and quizzes can be incorporated into the PDATours, creating a fun-oriented learning experience.