Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends
How new technologies are modifying our way of life

mardi 22 juillet 2003

In "The merging of GPS and the Web," Kurt Cagle raises interesting issues. Right now, there are not enough standards to really integrate global positioning system (GPS) and Web applications, but they are emerging.

He first looks at map applications. Here is his example, based on a commercial mall.

A decent mall map application would likely include some association between the symbolic and the visual map. Using a language such as the XML-based scalable vector graphics (SVG), it may be possible to create a graphical reference map with the position of map elements (doors, walls, escalators, entrances) rendered to the GPS coordinate system. Such an application would also group related elements (such as the general outlines of a store.

Cagle also talks about a new language to be submitted to the W3C, the GPSml markup language, which would be used to describe, routes between two locations. For more information about GPSml, you can visit this Chaeron Corporation webpage.

One means to encode routes is the GPSml markup language, to be submitted as a note to the W3C later this year. In this XML-based system, a GPSml document consists of one or more collections of three principal types: a waypoint, a route (a named collection of waypoints), or a track (which combines locations with a time coordinate).

One component of this waypoint would be an identifier which could be associated with a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).

With such a URI, you could effectively assign to that location an application that will run when the location is referenced in some manner (you get within five feet of that node, for instance). This application could be a Web service, retrieving contextual information about the location.

Of course, this kind of information and services could potentially be used by marketers.

Even without knowing anything about you, a marketer could read the identifier being transmitted to Web services giving GPS information for the device and develop a profile showing [your shopping habits.]

Finally, Cagle thinks that we'll soon see geeplogs (short for GPS-logs) through the use of the RSS specification."

[These geeplogs will contain] public GPS contexts that can be queried about a given area. [They] will be the GPS equivalents to blogs, in which a person could narrate a specific tour with his or her relevant commentary, possibly with photographs or video feeds.

Source: Kurt Cagle, TechRepublic, via ZDNet Australia, July 14, 2003

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