Location-based services or LBS provides information, entertainment, or security services to smartphone users based on the geographical location. As the LBS platforms get creative continually, the users adapting and depending on these services are also on the rise. Let’s get into it.
You're getting Routes and Direction assistance from Google Maps. A ‘check-in’ at your newly visiting place and Foursquare finds you the restaurants, shops, gas stations, or any attractions around you - including your friends. Ride-hailing services like Uber locating your pickup location. And it doesn't stop there; if you remember the days when Pokémon Go was making people wander on the streets to catch a Pokemon? Well, they all use LBS (location-based services), and it’s becoming a new trend in urban mobility. Now, a little bit behind the scenes:
A Geographic Information System or GIS, in short, is a system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying location data related to positions on Earth's surface such as street names, buildings, rivers, etc. – Say a graphical map. Location-based Services uses both GPS technology to track your geographical location through your smartphone, and then puts that location information from the GIS map to provide you with personalized services. Once you have opted-in the location services, this is how the LBS identifying your current location down to the street or villa location happens.
For indoors, or to enhance in-venue experiences of customers, visitors or users such as in the parks, hyper malls, hotels, museums, hospitals, airports, skyscrapers, underground locations, or any similar in-door public areas, where GPS might lack precision or unavailable, Wi-Fi or Beacons with Bluetooth, or a combined approach is common, and they act as in-door GPS.
Companies are continuously coming up with stunning and innovative uses of the technology to add values to their brand names, customer and employee experiences, optimized daily operations, and sales strategies. Here are a few such solutions picked from both indoor & outdoor LBS:
The trend that sees constant growth in apps using LBS and the user adaption has opened new opportunities and startup ideas. However, not all app developers have the resources to develop LBS supported apps without using the APIs of large GIS companies; they utilize GIS service providers’ APIs & SDKs in their app developments. There are several such companies including, Esri, Aspect, Mapbox, etc. and even Google Maps is partially one of them.