The combination of spatial analysis, different methods of positioning and mobile and ubiquitous processing, positioning technology such as global positioning systems and a part of spatial analyses and GIS equipment have led to the emergence of a new trend as context-aware and mobile GIS. One of the context-aware services that has been welcomed by most people is location-based services. Location-based services provide services to users using the user’s position. Tourism is one of the areas that can be focused based on these applications. Tourists need structured information that is available to them at any moment and any place. This information helps them to justify their position to the place that may be new and unfamiliar to them. It helps them to find their desired locations and the best path which leads to that location. Context-aware systems match their behavior based on these contexts by examining the user’s current contexts.
Materials & Methods
To design and implement a context-aware tourism system, we initially should identify effective contexts, and specify and model the effect of each of these contexts. In this research, location context is used to provide services such as finding the right places like tourist spots, historical sites, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, etc. which are close to user location, map graphic displaying , and to optimize the tour schedule. The user movement speed is another effective context in context-aware systems. Provision of information for users with different speeds is varied. Another effective context in providing services to tourists is the user movement direction. Direction can have different applications in providing information to tourists. For example, map details increase in the user movement direction or the map magnification changes according to the movement direction. For example, the size of the symbols of locations on the map can be changed according to the user’s direction. Time context is another important in providing information to tourists. This context may be dotted during a day or a period. One of the time application in the provision of information is the working time of different place.
Results & Discussion
Designing and implementation of a context-aware information system is usually complicated. It is well clear that mobility creates some challenges in these systems. Therefore, an operating system is needed to take the users and tourists’ demands into consideration in a dynamic environment. Context-aware applications aim to meet these needs and select various aspects of context such as the tourist or user’s current location, time, and other activities. In addition, increasing the amount of data makes it difficult to get access to this information through mobile equipment used by tourists. Accessing and finding the necessary information at the right time and with the right level of detail is very important for tourists.
A questionnaire survey was designed to evaluate the system. A number of experts in tourism, municipality, and also citizens were asked to use the system for providing a comparison with non-context-aware systems. The results revealed that the proposed system was more efficient in terms of being easy to understand, having the necessary information, providing timely information for users, etc.
In this research, a context-aware system was designed and implemented to provide information to tourists in the city of Maragheh. The system provides related information to tourists based on contexts, such as location, movement speed, movement direction, the type of path and time context. The system introduced new contexts, that is, speed and direction. Some of the services in this system for tourists are creating tourism tours based on the type of attractions such as historic sites, sports sites, etc. In addition, the tourists can choose the type of path based on their preferences such as the shortest path, the most beautiful path, and the path of shopping centers. The implemented system was given to 20 users including 17 tourists, 2 municipality experts, and1 tourism expert for assessment. The results showed that an average of about 83.33% of users were satisfied with the implementation of the system and recommended it for using by other tourists.