Virtual Location-Based Services: Merging the Physical and Virtual World


Location-based services gained much popularity through providing users with helpful information with respect to their current location. As a recent trend, virtual location-based services consider webpages or sites associated as 'virtual locations' that online users can visit. The presence of links between virtual locations and the corresponding physical locations (e.g., geo-location information of a restaurant linked to its website), allows for novel types of services and applications which constitute virtual location-based services (VLBS). Their success largely depends on the existence of websites referring to physical locations. In this paper, we investigate the usefulness of linking virtual and physical locations. For this, we analyze the presence and distribution of virtual locations, i.e., websites referring to places, for two Irish cities. Using simulated tracks based on a user movement model, we investigate how mobile users move through the Web as virtual space. Our results show that virtual locations are omnipresent in urban areas, and that the situation that a user is close to even several such locations at any time is rather the normal case instead of the exception.

DOI: 10.1109/ICWS.2014.28

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@article{Weth2014VirtualLS, title={Virtual Location-Based Services: Merging the Physical and Virtual World}, author={Christian von der Weth and Vinod Hegde and Manfred Hauswirth}, journal={2014 IEEE International Conference on Web Services}, year={2014}, pages={113-120} }