We have been investigating location based tourist applications targeted at off-the-shelf hand held devices, such as the Compaq Aero. The hand held device is augmented with Global Positioning System (GPS) to provide regular updated information about the user’s current location. Such an application enables the user to participate in a travel expo (a self guided tour of a specific area) that will display detailed information about specific features linked to their current position. This will include information about: where they are, attractions nearby, and details about specific buildings.
The Tourist Guide project investigated the use of context sensitive mobile computing for the use of visitors in the country. Rich multimedia support has been incorporated into the system to provide extra features to enhance the tour expo. In this paper we describe the processes involved in designing the Tourist Guide application and in particular we focus on the context sensitive features of the system as well as the reliability of the navigation system. The hand held computing device used in the project is the Compaq Aero colour palm-size PC. This device was connected to a Garmin GPS navigation system that provides the location information required to run the application.
Current hand held devices allow for an integrated computing and GPS system, but at the time the project commenced, there was no integrated solution for the Aero.
1.1 Background of Study
There have been a number of research efforts into GPS based hand held tourist applications, and we provide an overview of two of these systems. To achieve the aims of the project we leverage a number of areas currently being investigated by others, context sensitive computing and mobile computing.
The Distributive Multimedia Research Group at the Lancaster University has an ongoing project GUIDE (Cheverst et al., 2000) to investigate electronic tourist guides in a practical real-world environment. They have been building and testing different versions of electronic tourist guides for the city of Lancaster over the past few years. Their current approach is using wireless communication to a pen based tablet computer.
Compared to our solution, the GUIDE uses a larger device (213mm x 153mm x 15mm in size and 850 grams in weight). This allows for an SVGA resolution display to support a traditional web browser style interface, supplying a rich information service to the user. The wireless communication allows an almost infinite data store for tourism information and services.
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DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A TOURISM GUIDE FOR ANDROID OPERATING SYSTEM