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. Smartphones and tablets are naturally driving the proliferation of this technology because of their built-in location-sensitive sensors and other features. A growing facet of location intelligence in libraries is location-based services that provide content that is dynamically customized according to the user's location. For example, hyperlocalization tailors content delivery to a geographically defined community; a person on campus would receive relevant information, such as news and services. New location intelligence technologies are applying this capability into buildings and interior spaces with remarkable accuracy. A recent compelling development for location-based services is the advent of indoor geolocation, which is providing users with very specific information tailored to their exact location within a space, allowing fine-tuned information or services to be accessed from their exact location in 3D space, so that even different floors of a building can be identified.

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

  • Bluetooth beacons are already in place at the University of Leeds (Link in section 4) to monitor student attendance, and such data could prove to be amazingly useful to the people that manage the infrastructure and/or or those that support students, but it all depends on how the data is used, and who has access to it - see below. Very excited about the prospect of real-time indoor geolocation - the ability of my wearable or portable device to know where I am, where I want to go, and how to get me there would be amazing. And slightly sinister. It all depends on who is watching... and why.
    - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Sep 16, 2016
  • Beacon technologies in use at De Montfort University Library - enabled to push content from the stacks about eresources, journals, services - such as skills support and loan periods - can be repurposed for open days, classroom activity, induction etc. - DaveP DaveP Oct 2, 2016
  • The most interesting project I have seen in this regard (sadly, not yet ready for public sharing and discussion) focused on the use of beacons to track a history of visitors to locations in a particular learning space, contextualize the items created in that space by those visitors, and communicate useful aspects of that history and creations to subsequent visitors to that space.- rubenrp rubenrp Oct 2, 2016 If this use of location intelligence were combined with the learning objects that come out of connectivist MOOCs and even makerspaces, we would be a huge step closer to the sort of lifelong learning world where all of us are (as connectivist MOOC colleagues call themselves) co-conspirators in the learning process. Tremendous possibilities here for carrying the evolution of learning even further through thoughtful, creative use of technology in our learning environments.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 3, 2016

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

  • Ethics, once again rear their mighty head. Who can access the data, and what they use it for must be a primary consideration when implementing such systems. - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Sep 16, 2016 - DaveP DaveP Oct 2, 2016 !!!!
  • Might deter students - feeling swamped by information they neither need or want - DaveP DaveP Oct 2, 2016 I would hope we would--as we so often do--step up to the challenges of helping our learners (and ourselves) learn to sift through the firehose through the continuing development of first-rate digital literacy and information literacy skills.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 3, 2016
  • I think this topic needs to be linked to the Open Hardware discussion. Most beacon technology by necessity has to operate within a set of prescribed standards to interface with phones and apps appropriately. This presents a lot of opportunities to create customized experiences for the user. I've challenged my D-Lab people to come up with some interesting applications that use our recently installed network of beacons. I'm interested to see what they come up with. I think some of the stuff that Penn State is doing with hyper-local is really interesting and am looking forward to low-barrier content management systems that allow users to create hyper-local content. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 28, 2016

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

  • Once we find a way of processing and using the big data, it could be enormously useful in allowing us to identify and help those students that might otherwise disappear off the metaphorical radar. - damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Sep 16, 2016
  • engagement, building flow and design, device awareness
  • Agree with whoever wrote "engagement, building flow and design, design awareness" -- location intelligence, as described in the introduction to this part of our wiki, holds the potential to further help us build a useable, rich, dynamic set of connections that link the various resources available to us.
  • There are a vast number of potential applications and the barriers to entry could be made very low. Imagine museums with customized content using AI and beacons. Imagine a MakerSpace with customized videos attached to individual machines. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 28, 2016

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

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project Sharing Form.