Geospatial Hypertext Bits from W3C

Rohit Khare (
Mon, 22 Nov 1999 11:36:14 -0800

>A variety of mobile information appliances are developed rapidly
>such as smart phones with capability of Internet access, PDAs
>(Personal Digital Assistants) equipped with GPS (Global Positioning
>System), and car navigation systems. A navigation service is one of
>the indispensable services to these mobile information appliances,
>but currently it is only available with car navigation systems. In
>order to use the navigation service not only on cars but also on
>trains, on buses, and on foot with various mobile information
>appliances, a common data format for describing navigation
>information such as locations of points and route information is
>required. The "NVML" (NaVigation Markup Language) is a markup
>language for describing the navigation information satisfying the
>above requirement. The NVML enables us to use a navigation service
>at any time and anywhere, and it will also be used in other services
>such as a guide service for sightseeing, a travel planning service,
>and a publishing service for tourists.

>The Internet is rapidly growing toward wireless and mobile
>environment beyond the wired world. Nowadays, various types of
>mobile devices including PDAs and car navigation systems can access
>to the Internet. These devices are required to exchange the
>location-related information such as position data on the map. The
>"POIX" proposed here defines a general-purpose specification
>language for describing location information, which is an
>application of XML (Extensible Markup Language). POIX is a common
>baseline for exchanging location data via e-mail and embedding
>location data in HTML and XML documents. This specification can be
>used by mobile device developers, location-related service
>providers, and server software developers.

I found the following namespace in POIX humorous:
>The moving method described in the element, method, is presented below.
>Moving method Notation Example of description
>Car car <method>car</method>
>Motorcycle motorcycle <method>motorcycle</method>
>Railway railway <method>railway</method>
>onfoot onfoot <method>onfoot</method>
>Bus bus <method>bus</method>
>Airplane airplane <method>airplane</method>
>Ship ship <method>ship</method>
>Others others <method>others</method>

Finally, will be in
Sophia Feb 15-16 2000:

Workshop on Position Dependent Information Services

While standardized technology allow mobile devices to determine their
position with an accuracy of 1,5 meters (using the most fine-grained
techniques), how to determine which information is relevant in that
position is as yet unstandardised.

Position information is also controversial, in that it can both be
used for significant violations of the users privacy, and significant
assistance in situations where the user can not request assistance
(e.g. in a medical emergency). While privacy protection for cases
where the position information is used as an entity in itself are
foreseen in the standards for mobile systems, privacy protection for
cases where the position is used to retrieve customized information
is not.

The topics for this workshop include:

* Data formats for position relevant data, including coordinate
formats, event and venue information, etc.
* Metadata aspects of location information (e.g. RDF schema)
* Security and privacy aspects
* Query and resource discovery aspects
* Data transmission and protocol aspects (e.g. Push or HTTP
type transaction)
* System design for position relevant data, especially scalability
* Interoperability aspects

This workshop is not concerned with the actual system for determining
the position of a mobile device, as this is being solved elsewhere
(e.g. the GSM/IMT-2000 standardisation in T1P1.5). It is also not
concerned with the geological, engineering and other infrastructural
data that often are used in GIS systems, as this is also being solved
elsewhere (e.g. in the Open GIS consortium and at conferences such as
Interop99). For an idea of the type of applications this workshop
adresses, see the On the Move project videos.

Workshop Goal

The goal of this workshop is to adress position relevant data as
metadata in lightweight position-dependent applications, such as
tourist applications. The intent is to find and highlight methods for
event and position notification that can be or are standardized, with
the intent of arriving at a minimum set that can be brought forward
as standard.
The workshop minutes will highlight requirements and use cases in
this area. The result of the workshop will determine the continued
work in this area.

The problem of position relevance of information is at once a mobile
device problem and a metadata problem. This has led to the
cooperation between the W3C and the WAP Forum in this matter. This
workshop is organised jointly by the W3C Mobile Access Interest Group
and the WAP Forum Telematics Expert Group. The organisation of this
workshop is handled under the W3C process.