What is Location Intelligence?

Location intelligence refers to the mapping of the geographic relationships associated with data. Resources including GIS are used to provide individuals and organizations with information about how people are interacting with various applications and services based on their location. Through combinations of trilateration, WiFi fingerprinting, and crowdsourcing data, the data and patterns achieved through location intelligence are extremely accurate. Smartphones and tablets are naturally driving the proliferation of this technology because of their built-in location-sensitive sensors, WiFi signals, gyroscopes, magnetometers and accelerometers, and other features. Major players in the mobile and wearable technology space, such as Apple and Google, are rapidly acquiring the latest location intelligence technologies with the goal of enhancing the ways in which consumers interact with their surroundings. Apple recently purchased Locationary, a start-up that leverages crowdsourcing and game mechanics to update a database of location information for businesses. Additionally, they acquired WiFiSLAM, a company that specializes in employing WiFi signals, GPS, and sensors to track user movements within buildings. WiFiSLAM uses pattern recognition and machine learning to detect relationships between the data collected through all of the sensors in a device to create reliable indoor maps. Ultimately, location intelligence is poised to help people better understand their environments and even contribute their own measurements in an effort to map the entire world, inside and out.

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1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • This is likely a long way out but here's my take on this technology for education. As learning becomes more mobile, anywhere, and anytime this technology would make it possible for students to identify locations that will help them to see/experience a problem, gather information to complete project work, connect with others interested in the same problems, locate business that might provide on-job training or assist student in solving problems, locating Meetups, etc. Think far into the future and the traditional classroom model is gone. How could this technology be used for students to physically find experts or resource centers based on their interest or problem they are trying to solve. Maybe the nearby National Park is offering "Talk with the Park Ranger or Expert", a local museum has a display, an activist group has gathered at a nearby political event, etc. This technology will also contribute to virtual reality and simulation experiences that are yet to merge. Think HoloLens like.- shaffeje shaffeje Oct 13, 2015
  • I think one of the most interesting developments here is hyper-local location intelligence using beacon technologies. Using this the world around you becomes alive virtually. I can see this integrating with Augmented Reality technologies and there being a whole host of applications in education. Penn State did an interesting presentation on their pilots in this area and my brain just about exploded with new ideas of where you could go with this. Glossing an art presentation is what they did but there were customized glosses depending on whether you were a casual visual or part of a specific art class. I can see application in MakerSpaces such as you walk up to a machine it gives you operating instructions or what someone else has created with this machine, for instance. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 19, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • The connection to virtual reality and simulation. The instructional design of learning experiences using this technology. FERPA, which will likely limit the use of this technology by students by institutions (doesn't mean students couldn't use on their own).
  • Beacon technology - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 19, 2015 iBeacon has huge opportunities. Low tech, but easily adapted for attendance monitoring, location monitoring. Easy to integrate into an institutional App. - neil.witt neil.witt Oct 25, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • Changing mindsets, redesigning learning of the future, redefining seat time, provide resources that were not previously available or identified, more global approach to learning, just-in-time learning, learning in context, etc. - shaffeje shaffeje Oct 13, 2015
  • See above but they are basically endless. Imagine a history class that walks a historic house and layer upon layer of activities what happened in different epochs. Imagine embedding instructions in a variety of devices that pop up when you approach them. It's annotated world. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 19, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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