George Moon

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Location-based technologies are coming, but without applications they'll be going nowhere. We take a look at JSR 179, the Java API for location services, and see what it has to offer. It's Saturday afternoon and Melanie is shopping. She's wondering if any of her friends are in the mall. Melanie pulls out her Java-enabled phone and starts up her friend finder application. The application detects that Marcia and Bill are in the same area. Melanie sends them each a text message asking if they want to meet for coffee. They end up getting together for a cappuccino and having a lot of fun. These types of innovative location-aware applications are available today. They are simple to use but extremely complex to implement. There are many considerations, including privacy, security, handset features, network capabilities, and coverage. Standards help to facilitate these appl... (more)

LBS from Start to Finish - Everyone seems to want to tell you where you are - this is how they know

LBS is a complicated technology. Take a look at the ins and outs, from locating a wireless user, to the importance of overlaying this information with local street and landmark data, to the actual point where a person's location shows up on a computer screen with directions. The terminology for location-based services (LBS) is like most fields - foreign and filled with acronyms. Nonetheless, conceptually, location-based services are easy to understand. Essentially they involve variations of where am I, what is around me, and how do I get there (see Figure 1). The "I," of course,... (more)