Exploring the Effects of Target Location Size and Position System Accuracy on Location Based Applications

  • Cliff Randell
  • Erik Geelhoed
  • Alan Dix
  • Henk Muller
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3968)


We describe an examination of various physical and human factors which influence the effectiveness of location-based applications. By varying both the target location size and position system accuracy, and hence the ease of use of an application, we are able to identify physical constraints which apply as well as quantifying performance and evaluating human factors. A movement analysis is proposed which allows us to formulate a set of equations that relate the time to find the target to the target location size, distance and positioning system accuracy. We validate our work using a game based application, digital hopscotch, in which the location size and the accuracy of the positioning system are varied. A further set of tests is performed outdoors using a GPS-based application. We show that the results from these experiments concur with the results from our equations. This work may be usefully embedded in software packages that allow designers to build location-based applications.


Target Location Geographic Information System Ubiquitous Computing Target Size Location Size 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Hsi, S.: The electronic guidebook: A study of user experiences using mobile web content in a museum setting. In: Proceedings of IEEE International Workshop on Mobile and Wireless Technologies in Education, WMTE 2002, August 2002, pp. 48–54 (2002)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brown, B., MacColl, I., Chalmers, M., Galani, A., Randell, C., Steed, A.: Lessons from the lighthouse: Collaboration in a shared mixed reality system. In: Proceedings of CHI 2003, April 2003, ACM Press, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Long, S., Aust, D., Abowd, G., Atkenson, C.: Cyberguide: Prototyping context-aware mobile applications. In: CHI 1996, April 1996, pp. 293–294 (1996)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cheverst, K., Davies, N., Mitchell, K., Friday, A., Efstratiou, C.: Developing a context-aware electronic tourist guide: some issues and experiences. In: CHI 2000: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, pp. 17–24. ACM Press, New York (2000)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hull, R., Reid, J., Geelhoed, E.: Delivering compelling experiences through wearable computing. IEEE Pervasive Computing 1(4), 56–61 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Reid, J., Hull, R., Cater, K., Fleuriot, C.: Magic moments in situated mediascapes. In: ACM SIGCHI International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology ACE 2005, June 2005, ACM Press, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hightower, J., Borriello, G.: Location systems for ubiquitous computing. Computer, 57–66 (August 2001)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fitts, P.M.: The information capacity of the human motor system in controlling the amplitude of movement. Journal of Experimental Psychology 47, 381–391 (1954)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Benford, S., Fraser, M., Reynard, G., Koleva, B., Drozd, A.: Staging and evaluating public performances as an approach to CVE research. In: Proceedings of the 4th international conference on Collaborative virtual environments, pp. 80–87. ACM Press, New York (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Polhemus Incorporated. Fastrak product literature,
  11. 11.
    InterSense Incorporated. Intersense product literature,
  12. 12.
    Randell, C., Muller, H.: Low cost indoor positioning system. In: Abowd, G.D., Brumitt, B., Shafer, S. (eds.) UbiComp 2001. LNCS, vol. 2201, pp. 42–48. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hull, R., Clayton, B., Melamed, T.: Rapid authoring of mediascapes. In: Davies, N., Mynatt, E.D., Siio, I. (eds.) UbiComp 2004. LNCS, vol. 3205, pp. 125–142. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Li, Y., Hong, J.I., Landay, J.A.: Topiary: a tool for prototyping location-enhanced applications. In: UIST 2004: Proceedings of the 17th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pp. 217–226. ACM Press, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Greenhalgh, C., Izadi, S., Mathrick, J., Humble, J., Taylor, I.: Ect: A toolkit to support rapid construction of ubicomp environments. In: In Ubicomp 2004, Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Workshop on System Support for Ubiquitous Computing UbiSys 2004) (September 2004)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cliff Randell
    • 1
  • Erik Geelhoed
    • 2
  • Alan Dix
    • 3
  • Henk Muller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of BristolUK
  2. 2.Hewlett-Packard LaboratoriesBristolUK
  3. 3.Computing DepartmentLancaster UniversityUK

Personalised recommendations