acts as an intelligent brokerage for location based services, allowing them to select the appropriate position determining technologies (PDTs) and leverage them for the application at hand. With the arrival of Galileo/roll out of EGNOS the range of available positioning services is becoming more complex and difficult/risky for application developers to specify in advance. The solution is to offer a meta-positioning service that synchronously characterises the PDT and receives feedback on the real efficacy of the positioning from the user.
Currently implemented PDT systems have distinctive profiles which can be defined by criteria such as accuracy, availability, integrity, coverage and cost; the level of service available from each PDT is dependent upon many factors. The PDT requirements of LBS, on the other hand, vary according the nature of the application: e.g. accuracy of a few metres for pedestrian navigation but only perhaps 10-50km for regional news updates. There is a need to manage this dynamic relationship between PDT and LBS, to minimise the user experience of service failure, and to ensure the most appropriate technology is used. A meta-positioning service developed for this purpose would have a number of tangible benefits:
• integration of multiple PDTs increases the availability of LBS by offering alternatives in environments hostile to the primary PDT;
• the service can report vital metadata (including accuracy) which avoid LBS reporting misleading information to the user;
• a meta-positioning service can make display geographic intelligence, making decisions about the most appropriate PDT streams to use, based on, for example, minimising demands on resources (e.g. bandwidth, processor or battery);
• automated handling of alternative PDT removes the need for user intervention, which remains a significant barrier to the mass market take-up.
This dynamic relationship s one of the most important in the LBS value chain.
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