What is Geolocation?

Everything on the Earth’s surface has a location that can be expressed with just two coordinates. Using the new classes of geolocation tools, it is very easy to determine and capture the exact location of physical objects — as well as capturing the location where digital media such as photographs and video are taken. The other side of this coin is that it is also becoming easier to work with the geolocative data thus captured: it can be plotted on maps; combined with data about other events, objects, or people; graphed; charted; or manipulated in myriad ways. Indeed, such data are leading to entirely new forms of mapping. Devices we commonly carry with us increasingly have the ability to know where they (and, consequently, we) are, and to record our coordinates as we take photographs, talk to friends, or post updates to social networking websites. The transparency of this group of technologies — they are increasingly imbedded in all sorts of devices and technologies — is making them very much an essential part of our lives.

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

  • I think LBL (Location Based Learning) and GeoLearning (GL) will become streamline features within new generation Educational devices. - fabrizio.cardinali fabrizio.cardinali May 17, 2011
  • I concur with Fabrizio's comments, and would further add that for handheld Augmented Reality applications, location sensing and context awareness will be essential. - steve.wheeler steve.wheeler
  • Could add to metrics for learning analytics e.g. identifying presence on campus and monitoring attendance in lectures (replacing class registers) - chris.cobb chris.cobb May 18, 2011
  • I think it just becomes part of the general mobility infrastructure - we date/time stamp nearly all our digital world; this just allows spatial data to be added as well. Furthermore there are some really interesting apps emerging that enhance a students interaction with their university experience {Oxford/Bristol JISC projects} and these will almost certainly grow. - david.harrison david.harrison May 18, 2011

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

  • your response here
  • another response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, research or information management within the next five years?

  • I can see some areas of research that I was interested in many years ago being given a new lease of life. Environmental perception, mental maps. How we learn from our interaction with our environment. - david.harrison david.harrison May 18, 2011
  • another response here

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

We have experimented location based learning in severla EU RD projects such as Mobilearn (www.mobilearn.org) or IRMOS (http://www.irmosproject.eu/) and finally introduced location based learning in our market product eXact mobile (http://www.exact-learning.com/en/products/learn-exact-suite/exact-mobile-solution-for-mobile-learning). The market reaction is very positive even if many don't understand immediately how powerful location awareness may be for just in time learning or performance support - fabrizio.cardinali fabrizio.cardinali May 17, 2011

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