Augmented RealityGPS

Location Aware Devices and Services – Augmenting Cities

By May 12, 2007 4 Comments

With the recent integration of GPS units into everyday devices, such as the Nokia N95 and the before its time Gizmondo, it makes sense that GPS is used to load location dependent information.

The technology behind location aware information is simple, the GPS is linked to a system that automatically loads various media according to the application when a certain location is reached by the user. It was possible to build a simple system a few years ago using ArcPad on a PDA, however with an external GPS and short battery life it was not all that practical.

The YouTube video below details the on-going work into context awareness at The Human Communication and Interaction Research Group (HCI-RG),Department of Computer Science of the University of Oviedo:

Although a simple concept and one made possible by the recent advances in technology, the results are impressive. Being able to load information onto a portable device, such as the Nokia N95, linked to a mapping application would create a useful tourist information system.

If these devices are further linked to the ever ‘launching soon’ portable eye displays then you begin to approach augmented reality in cities – which of course needs to be location aware.

The next few years will see more and more devices launching with integrated GPS units and with these we expect to see a lot more location aware services.


Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.


  • Tom Melamed says:

    Nice post and I totally agree that GPS is starting to turn up in more and more devices and that we can do much more with it than just Sat-Nav. I also really like the app that is being demonstrated in the video. Have you heard of the mscape toolkit? It’s a new free, toolkit that we have just released that lets you build location based applications like this quite easily. I would be very interested in your thoughts on it?



  • Tom Melamed says:

    Oops. Should have read further ahead. Sorry.


  • Andy says:

    Your comment came in just as i posted on the mscape toolkit 🙂


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