Location based services for urban planning
Location based services (LBS) are gaining prime importance in our increasing mobile and highly information technology enabled world. Location based services are defined as applications that deliver location based information when and where it is needed. Location based information is an added spatial information layer for a particular location, which allows users to access and upload information into the system, such as allocating a latitude/longitude coordinate to a location. One of the most obvious technologies behind location based services is geographic positioning, with the most widely recognized system being a Global Positioning System (GPS). Positioning in this context refers to allowing mobile devices such as cell phones, laptops, PDA's (Personal Digital Assistants) and navigation systems which run on wireless messaging platforms, to be aware of any location with varying degrees of positional accuracy.The purpose of this research is to introduce, and address different types of location based services (LBS) and potential applications that can help improve urban planning systems. This study focuses on the relationship between LBS and GIS, and examines the most promising technologies and history behind location based services in the hope that implementing LBS can alleviate problems of transportation planning systems - such as user unfriendliness and labor intensity.This research is based on a combination of literature and case study search. The literature search explores relevant current location based services. The case study research is used to explore its application possibilities. These findings explore technical issues related to LBS and how to generate and implement a vehicle tracking application in the context of an interactive transportation planning process, enabling the user to locate a vehicle through his mobile device. A vehicle tracking application could resolve issues in the transportation planning process and could benefit planners by serving as a source for implementing various planning projects. Transportation planning projects could include: improving the safety and operation of highways and other transportation modes (example: public transit), roadway traffic analysis to report traffic speeds, monitor congested freeways and providing improved incident management capabilities, roadway events (constructions and weather related road conditions).