Thursday, 21 October 2010

#mlearn2010 Virtual Mobile City Guide by A. Dingli

Based on Wikitude and depending on the user they can choose different applications.

The way forward to sustain such a system: have the plumbing in place. Get information from stakeholders (commerce, public). The end users were surveyed beforehand to know what they would like to know.
Their was also some space for commercial information from the commercial entities.

This project got a Learning award in Munich just last week. They are interested to join forces for future projects.

they will now enhance it with Gyro (all movements) and implement it for iPad and iPhone.

Abstract as mentioned in the proceedings
The Virtual Mobile City Guide (VMCG) is a mobile application which aims to provide the user with digital equivalent tools which tourists normally use while travelling and provides them with factual information about the city. Using Android technology, the VMCG is a mash up of different APIs which together with an information infrastructure provides the user with information about different attractions and guidance around the city in question. While providing the user with the traditional map view by making use of the Google maps API, the VMCG also employs the Wikitude® API to provide the user with an innovative approach to navigating through cities. This view uses augmented reality to indicate the location of attractions and displays information in the same augmented reality. The VMCG also has a built in recommendation engine which suggests attractions to the user depending on the attractions which the user is visiting during the tour and tailor information in order to cater for a learning experience while the user travels around the city in question.

conclusion as mentioned in the proceedings
The concept of having a mash-up application designed to assist tourists during their visit was welcomed by many during the evaluation and promises positive prospects. It was also shown that the Android platform provides the adequate environment to develop such applications.
The graphical user interface (GUI) was given special attention in the design of the VMCG but more diverse user interaction methods such as audio should be sought.
The GUI should also be developed to cater for directions and improve accessibility by allowing varying text size among other possible adjustments. A suggestion which also emerged from the evaluation was the possibility of having the VMCG in different languages. In the effort to also meet the solutions proposed by Brown and Chalmers, the collaborative aspect of the VMCG has to be developed by possibly allowing connection to social networking sites.
The evaluation also showed the lack of willingness of users to update the information in the application while they travel. This can be overcome by designing business models which enable incentives to the user. The guidebook aspect of the VMCG should also be developed by providing more in-depth information and also illustrating possible transport connections to other cities in proximity to the city being visited.
In this paper we also presented how to apply different technological developments in the field of tourism in order to address the needs in the latter field. The views presented in the VMCG were satisfactorily welcomed by the potential users. It was concluded that the GUI considerations are important for the users of the system and more effort should be invested in order to allow different and rich ways in which the users can interact with the system. The development of this application in the context of a framework which caters for both pre-visiting and postvisiting is our next challenge.